It’s simple: fewer hours, higher prices

He noted that the average price of an Omega watch has tripled over the past 20 years, due in part to improved values ​​for materials, resistance, and accuracy. (He also said Omega volumes are on track to surpass 600,000 units this year, which would be an increase of about 20 percent year-over-year.)

Swiss watch companies rarely disclose their average retail prices, but according to an estimate published in Morgan Stanley’s Annual Watch Report 2022, the average price for an Omega was CHF6,571, before tax. (According to the report, Longines is the only Swiss watch company to rank in the top 10 in the industry by sales, but its average price of CHF1,088 falls short of Union’s higher price category.)

Premiumization, as described by Morgan Stanley in the report and which companies have been talking about for months, has encouraged some mid-range brands like TAG Heuer to increase their average prices, rather than their volumes, to pursue growth.

“In 2018, our average price was 2,200,” said Frédéric Arnault, CEO of TAG Heuer. “We recently crossed CHF 3,000.”

Mr. Arnault said that the brand’s production is increasing, but more importantly, the customer’s image is changing. “Ten years ago, the primary focus was the customer who had one watch in his life, maybe two, and one of them had to be TAG Heuer,” he said. “And yes, it’s true that there is less of that client, but the profile of our collectors client base has grown a lot in the last 10 years. There are a lot of people who collect watches, and now that takes a much larger share in our clientele.”