Watches and collectibles
If watchmaking was undoubtedly one of the sectors most affected by the outbreak of the pandemic, it must be said that it is also the one that can most optimistically look to a recovery in the coming months.
Especially at the high-end level: the restart will be marked, according to experts, by the high quality of customer services and by the high and untouchable desirability of products and brands in the sector.
Globally, in the first nine months of 2021, the export of Swiss watches is in decline, but with a more contained decline than that recorded in the first half. Last September, exports of Swiss timepieces stopped at 1.60 billion francs (around 1.48 billion euros), reaching 12% less year-on-year. In the first nine months of 2020, Swiss exports were worth 11.41 billion francs, 28.3% less than twelve months earlier and in the first half of the year they fell by 35.7 percent. The Swiss watch industry accounts for more than half of the sector's global turnover and exports over 90% of its production. The challenge for the sector is to be able to further contain the decline in exports and the second wave of closures will certainly not help the budgets.
As Carlo Bartorelli of the homonymous company told Pambianco Magazine: "The recovery of the sector does not depend only on the contingent moment, but also on product distribution policies. We are experiencing a phase of great difficulty. In the coming months, those companies and brands that over time have made quality choices, both in terms of distribution and product, will be awarded. I foresee a recovery for 2021, thanks to the positive signals we receive every day from our customers who search and collect quality goods, objects that are also an investment, a safe haven ”.
Umberto Verga, President of Orologeria Luigi Verga, sees online as an important advertising and communication vehicle, but which is unlikely to become a reference channel for sales: "The Italy / abroad ratio for our company is 70% against 30%. Contact with foreign customers is very difficult to maintain and our foreign customers are mainly businessmen who came to us during trade fairs or company meetings. I don't believe in e-commerce for the luxury watch sector ".
For Stefano Amirante, buying & merchandising manager of Rocca 1794, Italian enthusiasts are stable and often followed by reality for generations: "An audience particularly attentive to what happens in the world of watchmaking, curious to know and discover what lies behind the invisible of the visible. To optimize the management of customer flows and avoid waiting, we have given our customers the possibility to book their appointment and to reserve private spaces in boutiques, so as to guarantee maximum assistance, or given the possibility of having their own delivered home. purchase".
Then make way for collecting, as confirmed by Chiara Pisa, CEO of Pisa Orologeria who launched Timeless, a new service dedicated to watches purchased in the past and which allows loyal customers to renew their collections through a dedicated and secure exchange service: “It was a project that is the result of careful analysis and evaluation of current markets on the trends in the taste of the public and on the services offered by similar companies on an international level. Most customers still believe that a watch is for life, while others see it more as an object of display where the aesthetic value exceeds the emotional one; an accessory, in short, that today reflects my being and my feeling and tomorrow no longer represents me. And hence the desire to update their collection. For the professionals it is a duty to meet all the different types of requests from an increasingly varied and demanding clientele ".