WatchCharts Forum

How has Coronavirus Affected Interest in Watches?

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At this point, the effects of Coronavirus on the watch industry are indisputable. BaselWorld and SIHH have been cancelled. Watchmaking giant Rolex shut down production for more nearly two months, from March 16 to May 4. Even Patek Philippe, which places incredibly high value on boutique buying experiences conducted in person, has allowed its authorized…

Excellent and very thorough article Charles! It’s very interesting that the top three brands according to Google analytics are Rolex, Omega and Seiko. While I expected Rolex, the other two are surprises (albeit pleasant ones). Also very interesting that Vacheron is faring so poorly in comparison to Patek and AP amongst the Big Three. I’m wondering if perhaps their position on that podium has been supplanted by Lange now, although some would contend that being German immediately disqualifies them from being a member of the “Swiss Trinity”.

Thanks Jason! I think Vacheron has fallen behind in the minds of collectors since it hasn’t managed to catch on with the stainless steel sports model trend like AP and PP have. The current generation Overseas is nice, but I feel that it doesn’t have the same charm as a Nautilus or Royal Oak. It wears a bit large and isn’t a Genta design.

That being said, VC still seems to be ahead of Lange on Google Trends:

Rolex is Rolex, but Omega and Seiko are generally more popular with younger collectors. Everyone knows Seiko, and I’d hope that decades of advertising for Speedmasters and the James Bond connection has the public a bit more aware of what Omega is up to.

Although I didn’t mention it in the article, the brand I’d like to see have a comeback is JLC. Particularly, I’m a big fan of some of the new Reverso designs and I’d love to get my hands on a Reverso Duo someday.

Agreed. They took a step in the right direction with the calibre upgrades in this year’s Master Control collection. The Reverso line is sorely in need of some TLC next to bring it up to date with what watch buyers expect from a modern mechanical.