Today, with enhancing lifestyles, accessories are an inevitable part of the complete outfit. Indian women have become independent, experimental and not hesitant to shell out good amount of bucks on luxury watches. Watches make a style statement and clearly come across signifying the persona and taste of the person wearing them.
Changes in shopping pattern, higher disposable incomes and luxurious lifestyles are some of the factors driving the growth of Indian watches Industry, and specifically, it is an evolving one in the women’s segment. Attributes like aesthetics and elegance have taken over an edge against durability and necessity; as a result the entire watch industry is witnessing a paradigm shift in consumer patterns, designs and product lines.
Till a few years back, women loved to be embellished by jewellery. But today they love to buy and flaunt luxury watches in their social circles. The market for watches in India is a relatively new niche for women buyers – because watches are now a mark of a new kind of aspiration.
The Indian watch industry – earlier dominated by male buyers – has a lot of scope for further penetration in organised retail. With the entry of foreign brands like DKNY, Kenneth Cole, Tissot, Rado and Esprit, there is a plethora of choices for today’s female clan. Besides conventional brick and mortar models, retailers are foraying into new marketing strategies thereby making their products available online. E-commerce portals like Jabong, Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart and many such others, keep coming up with lucrative discounts and deals to woo Indian buyers, wherein the growth of the watches is highly driven by women buyers. There are different styles and range of time pieces – for every occasion. Be it formal, casual, chic or elegant – watch makers endeavour to provide it all.
Indian watch industry (organised retail segment) is pegged at around INR 6000 crore. Earlier, most of the buyers were males, but the trends are changing now. Females are inspired to own exclusive and luxurious watches too. Luxury watch segment currently accounts for 15 percent of the market.
Industry experts reveal that around 2-3 years back, the ratio between men and women buyers was 9:1. This has witnessed a major change and currently is 7:3. Hence, there is still a lot of scope for companies to make and offer women-centric time pieces and enjoy better growth trajectory.
Recently, Hyderabad saw the launch of India’s first women-centric brand of watches – Aspen. It is an international watch brand owned by Just Lifestyle. Predominantly a women brand, the designs embrace a strong and confident woman’s personality. In fact, Indian watch major, Titan also came up with women specific range by the name of Titan Raga. Raga offered women’s watches that were stylish, elegant and affordable and hence appealed to the ‘price sensitive’ buyers too.
The size of the market for watches and leather accessories (belts, bags, wallets) has been estimated to enhance by a ratio of 2:1 from the years 2014 to 2019. Though the same ratio may not be noted for the second half of the decade, they definitely would move towards a higher market share and a more organised structure.