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A new survey suggests that millennials and Gen Z are getting into luxury items. Luxury watchmakers are now taking advantage of this and looking to attract younger buyers using products like bitcoin and Snapchat.
Millennials Don’t Usually Wear Watches
The funny thing is that many millennials and younger generations are not used to wearing watches as they usually just have the time on their phones, but watchmakers believe they can make a huge dent in their sales and retail progression in the coming years given they have more spending power than virtually any other group before them.
In an interview, Rolex chief executive Jean-Frederic Dufour explained:
It is very important that once a year, we showcase that wearing a watch is trendy, and even something for the youngest generation which is not used to wearing watches.
At a recent conference, representatives of Snapchat announced a new application that would allow people to try on watches virtually, either through a tablet or smartphone. It adapts to a user’s wrist size and shows off Cartier watch models. From there, users can ultimately customize things like colors. Jean-Philippe Bertschy – an analyst with Swiss investment managers Vontobel – said:
The younger generation, contrary to popular belief, have more economic power than any generation that preceded them. They are earning more, saving more, and investing earlier and at a higher rate than previous generations.
He mentioned that an interesting phenomenon is on its way in that millennials and Gen Z are slated to garner a massive amount of wealth over the next two decades, either through inheritance or other means. He says they’re projected to rake in as much as $80 trillion by the time we reach 2045.
At the same time, both generations are stifled by many rising costs including mortgage costs. Analysts with Morgan Stanley commented that nearly half of people between the ages of 18 and 29 still live with their parents, something not witnessed in roughly 80 years. They said:
They simply have more disposable income to be allocated to discretionary spending.
Not long ago, H. Moser sold a watch for roughly ten bitcoins. Chief executive Edouard Meylan said bitcoin and crypto transactions are great for attracting younger consumers to the mix given they’ve become more “digitized” over the years. He commented:
More than 50 percent of sales in China are to Gen Z and millennials.
Trying to Attract Younger Customers
Christopher Hoppe – a Frenchman now living in the nation of Australia, where he founded the Bausele watch brand after spending many years making timepieces in Switzerland – says that younger people are often looking for watches and similar products many other people simply “won’t have.” He stated:
We had lost this generation with mobile phones but found it again with the Apple Watch.