Steel Crushes Precious-Metal Watch Imports to U.S.

December 1998

Timepieces:Data & Statistics

Steel Crushes Precious-Metal Watch Imports to U.S.

But don't count out silver, gold and platinum cases. And take a new look at an old category: pocket watches

mports of watches with precious-metal cases are falling as those made with steel grow, based on 1997 statistics just released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. This isn't surprising, given that nearly every watch brand now offers at least one full-steel line.

However, all-steel or base-metal cases don't dominate all watch types. These charts show growing imports of – and interest in &#150 anadigital models with precious-metal cases. Look for this product category to grow in 1999.

In addition, reports from Switzerland show a steady increase (+3.8%) in exports of karat gold watches exported to the United States in the first six months of 1998.

Even the pocket watch is garnering the kind of attention it hasn't seen since our grandfathers' day. Pocket-watch imports grew nearly 163% in 1997 and a similar increase is expected for 1998. Look for a continued increase in sales of gold, silver and goldplated pocket watches in 1999. Much of this heightened interest in pocket watches is thanks to a few fine brands expanding U.S. distribution, say retailers.

– by Michael Thompson

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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