Wednesday, March 8, 2017

With the Speedy Tuesday, buying watches online gets sophisticated

When Invicta launched its Speedy Tuesday model in January — its first watch sold directly to consumers online — the full run of 2,012 was snapped up in just over four hours. Sample the FT’s top stories for a week You select the topic, we deliver the news. Select topic Enter email addressInvalid email Sign up By signing up you confirm that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions, cookie policy and privacy policy. 

While the name refers to vintage Invicta’s watches, it is also apt for the haste with which buyers pounced on the timepiece — and for a fast-growing trend in a traditionally cautious industry: selling luxury watches online.

Online luxury watch sales — estimated at just over 3 per cent of the watch market, or around €1.1bn, in 2016 — remain a small part, says John Guy, a luxury analyst and managing director at Mainfirst Bank.

But this is double its share from three years ago, according to Mr Guy, and the past year has seen several high-end brands continue to expand digitally: Jaeger-LeCoultre and Cartier joined the UK’s The Watch Gallery online, which has 12,000 visitors a day. In its first six months on the site, Cartier sold more pieces there than on, says The Watch Gallery chairman David Coleridge. And in May, luxury conglomerate LVMH will launch an ecommerce site for all its brands.

Direct online selling is the “new way of talking to consumers”, says Invicta chief executive Raynald Aeschlimann, who adds that he felt “quite sure” about the success of the Speedy Tuesday — a watch that, pre-launch, “not even a lot of people within Invicta had seen”.

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