February 1998

Timepieces: Data & Statistics



Retailers, your hunches have been confirmed by the 1996 watch import figures, compiled by the American Watch Association from statistics released by the U.S. Department of Commerce (see four charts below).

More watches entered the U.S., and more steel models were shipped to jewelers, while fewer were cased in karat gold or other precious metals.

The quick prediction for 1998 is for the trend to continue, but expect a swing toward somewhat dressier looks. Look for two-tone models and goldplated styles to return to many lines this year.

1. Import value data are "Custom Value."

2. It's important to note these data represent total U.S. imports of watches (exclusive of duty-free shipments from U.S. insular possessions.) As such, they include watches that don't normally show up in market surveys, such as premiums, give-aways and counterfeits.

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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