Disruptions in Watches and Wearables

October 8, 2021  •  David Pring-Mill

This unique, approximately 26,000-word report covers the technological evolution of watches, as well as the consumer perceptions and ecommerce strategies that are reshaping the market.

The report is structured as follows:

  • Executive Summary: For the time-constrained executive, the most salient and actionable points from each section are included here.
  • Combining Tradition/Heritage with Modern Features: This thematic analysis probes the statements and activities of luxury watch brands. It addresses the need for the watch industry to continue to evolve, and the challenges in doing so.
  • Attention to Detail: This section opens with a comprehensive literature review of color psychology, exploring the relevance of color-related strategies to watch/smartwatch/wearable products, brands, and retail environments. These findings might also be useful for other types of product development and marketing. The section explores the ways that product details now overlap with digital buyers’ journeys, and the unusual material/design strategies that newer brands use to differentiate their offerings.
  • Chain of Command: This section explores the internal structures and incentives of watch brands, highlighting the potential benefits and drawbacks of different organizational approaches and stages of growth.
  • A Technologically Transformed Market: This section includes aggregated demand forecasting and consumer survey results. It examines the various health-related use cases, technological advancements, expanding digital ecosystems, emerging brands, and consumer needs that will likely act as growth drivers for this market. It also identifies potential challenges such as pandemic-related supply chain disruptions and economic impacts, regulatory responses, privacy concerns, variable insurance reimbursement rates, and criticisms from medical researchers. This is followed by a thematic analysis of statements made by startup founders, identifying and explaining their disruptive ecommerce strategies in the watches category. In total, this technologically-focused section includes over 100 aggregated quantitative insights that readers could easily extract for their own research purposes.
  • Infographics: This report’s comprehensive overview of the competitive landscape in watches/smartwatches ends with several infographics that creatively communicate watches/smartwatches/wearables-related market research.

This report will provide comprehensive answers to the following key questions:

  • How are established luxury brands merging their sense of tradition with innovation, both internally through operational processes and externally through products?
  • What are the barriers to the luxury positioning of smartwatches?
  • How do product manufacturing details overlap with digital content, commerce, and the modern drivers of purchase decisions?
  • How should watch brands (and other manufacturers or marketers) think about color psychology?
  • How are newer watch brands differentiating their offerings with unconventional materials and designs?
  • What are the operational approaches and philosophies of luxury conglomerates?
  • What are the consumer perceptions of smartwatches/wearables, the most popular use cases, and functionality expectations?
  • What are some of the most promising high-growth opportunities in technologically-transformed watch categories?
  • Which tech companies are dominating new markets, and which companies have the potential to gain market share?
  • What are the key factors affecting market dynamics? What’s the role of underlying, and still developing, technologies such as sensors, AI, and biomanufacturing?
  • What are the most significant challenges, and under-utilized, high ROI strategies, in ecommerce for this category?

Target Audience

  • established luxury brands evaluating the ecommerce/D2C landscape and their options in smartwatches/wearables
  • tech companies involved in smartwatches/wearables
  • D2C brands in watches & jewelry
  • retailers of luxury goods and/or smartwatches/wearables
  • investors and investment banks

Companies Mentioned in this Report

This report has gleaned strategic insights from the public statements and activities of luxury brands, tech players, activewear brands, and startups/smaller brands attempting digital disruption.

Luxury brands included:

  • Zenith (LVMH)
  • Hublot (LVMH)
  • Hermès
  • The Swatch Group
  • Vacheron Constantin (Richemont)
  • Patek Philippe
  • Bugatti (Volkswagen Group)

Tech players included:

  • Apple
  • Fitbit/Google
  • Samsung
  • LG Corporation
  • Rock Health
  • Facebook
  • Zymergen

Activewear brands included:

  • Nike
  • New Balance

Startups / smaller brands:

  • Gustafsson & Sjögren (GoS Watches)
  • Vincero
  • Linjer
  • Branzio Watches

Methodology

Policy2050 excels at identifying the strategies and patterns within complex data that is gathered through exhaustive secondary and primary research. This process includes publicly available sources, such as annual reports, academic journals, consumer surveys, trade publications, industry symposia, and podcasts, along with interviews and inputs from a wide network of market experts and internal knowledge. Strategic perspectives are leveraged from across the value chain and from relevant tech vendors causing disruptions or reconfigurations in markets.

Information is filtered and validated through this lens of expertise and scrutiny, or contextualized to expose differences in results and industry disagreements. Perceptions of current trends, as reflected in reporting, often translate into actions and investments with consequences. The many hyperlinks included throughout this report help to ensure that important figures, strategic statements, and other market characterizations are easily and fully traceable.

All of this analysis is delivered within an actionable framework that outlines best practices, proposes innovations or adaptations, and extracts insights from case studies. Infographics and imagery are used to express key concepts and enliven this comprehensive overview where appropriate.

Media Kit

The compressed file above contains a copy of the press release alongside infographics, which can be freely used by the news media with attribution. The online press release is visible here.

Inquiries can be directed to david.pringmill@policy2050.com.

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