We ran a deep 40-question audience study in April and this is an analysis of the highlights.

People that collect wristwatches tend to have a lot of money, although it’s not a requirement and we curate Professional Watches with wristwatches from all price points. Price aside, we’re consistently highly selective of the timepieces we feature — based on brand, style, design, quality, reliability, resale, and value. This is one factor that makes Professional Watches and its audience so appealing, even compared to higher traffic watch sites that cover pretty much every category — simply because we’re more interested in quality than quantity.

Our #1 website audience location is the US, and the UK is #2. After the two primary markets, readers are generally located in Europe or spread out all over the world (which you can see on the 1,000 recent visitors map shown above – Source: Clicky Analytics).

What is your household income? This is a standard (Survey Monkey-certified) question about household income question and the #1 answer was “Prefer Not To Say” (28.6%), followed by $150,000 or More (24.5%), then $100,000 to $149,999 (11.2%), $75,000 to $99,999 (11.2%), $50,000 to $74,999 (11.2%), $35,000 to $49,999 (5.1%), $20,000 to $34,999 (5.1%), Less than $20,000 (3.1%). The income of the audience is high, which has always been the case in every survey we’ve run.

How many watches do you own? Almost a third of respondents say they own between 6-9 watches (32.3%), followed by 10-19 watches (24.2%), 20+ watches (20.2%), 3-5 watches (20.2%), 2 watches (2.1%), 1 watch (1%). Not surprisingly, the results show an audience that owns many timepieces as is often the case when we meet people interested in watches. One is rarely enough.

Have you ever purchased a watch online? received a response of “Yes” (80.6%) of the time and “No” for the remaining (19.4%). No big surprise here, except perhaps to the CEOs who finally realized that online is helpful to consumers and therefore sales when their ADs and boutiques were forced to close worldwide. Omni-channel is nothing new, and buying online is of course a requirement of a true multi-channel approach.

Data results pulled directly from PW 2021 audience survey. Source: Survey Planet

How many watches did you purchase in the past 12-months? received “2-3” watches as the number one answer at (29.3%), followed by 1 watch (25.3%), 0 watches (24.2%), 4-5 watches (13.1%), 6-9 watches (5.1%), and 10+ watches (3%). People that own a lot of watches, and have high disposable income, buy a lot of watches, and this result supports that.

What is your maximum preferred watch case diameter? The number one response was 42 mm (28.3%), followed by 40 mm at (19.2%), 39 mm (9.1%), 44 mm (8.1%), 41 mm (7.1%), 46 mm (6.1%). The sizes 37 mm, 34 mm, and 48+ mm did not receive any votes. Different sized watches work for varying wrist sizes and taste preferences, however, considering that 71.8% of the respondents selected 39 mm to 44 mm as a response, the preferred case diameters are relatively clear.

Do you like heavier or lighter watches? The top response was “Average” (34.3%), “No Preference” (31.3%), “Heavier” (21.2%), and “Lighter” (13.1%).  This is one question that I thought for sure would sway towards “Lighter” but in reality, the audience does not seem to care whether a watch is heavy or light, and mathematically the responses lean more towards heavier than lighter.

How often do you wear dress clothes? “Never” was the number one response at (42.4%), “Once a month” was the second most selected at (27.4%), with “Once a week” receiving (16.2%) of the responses. While we did not qualify whether this has changed during the pandemic, it’s still relatively clear that our audience does not dress up very often which is in line with general fashion trends that are moving towards casual. This also reinforces our focus on sportier watches, even though we do also cover dress watches.

How often do you participate in watch gatherings or meetups? “Never” was the #1 selection at (66.3%), “Rarely” was answered (29.6%) of the time, and “Occasionally” was chosen (4.1%), leaving the fourth choice of “Often” with a complete zero response. The events held by the watch industry can vary greatly but they’re often extravagant and fun, although one reason websites are so useful to consumers, is that they bring the images and information directly to the person’s device which is particularly helpful if they don’t live near where the events take place. Owning a watch can be done without the need to have a cocktail while discussing owning the watch with other watch owners.

2021 ProfessionalWatches.com Survey Question 15
Data results pulled directly from PW 2021 audience survey. Source: Survey Planet

Do you read watch reviews before your purchase a watch? Another dominant result with (86.9%) of respondents selecting “Yes” and (12.1%) selecting “Sometimes” meaning only (1%) responded “No.” When you combine the “Yes” and “Sometimes” the results suggest that 99% of the respondents read watch reviews before purchasing a watch, at least sometimes.

How important is it to you to read reviews prior to making an important purchase? This like the other two related questions, received an overwhelming majority in favor of reviews with (96%) responding that they are “Important” and (4%) saying they are “Not Important.” Based on three distinctive watch review-related questions, the numbers clearly speak for themselves.

Have you ever purchased a watch as a gift? The results at 81.8% “Yes” and 18.2% “No” which is just as expected considering the enduring and emotional relevance of a timepiece as a gift to mark an important moment in time.

Do you ever purchase watches as an investment? An overwhelming (74.7%) said “No,” with just (14.1%) saying “Sometimes,” and only (11.1%) responding “Yes.” This result is definitely surprising considering the rise of basically all stainless steel Rolex watches as investment-worthy timepieces, not to mention the incredible rise in the resale value of a broad range of watch references at Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, and a few other notable brands.

Do you prefer new, pre-owned, or vintage watches? At (81.8%) most respondents chose “New” over “Pre-Owned” (12.1%) or “Vintage” (6.1%) which makes sense because we primarily focus on covering new timepieces.

Do you share your passion for watches with your kids? “Yes” received a (52%) response rate, “Don’t have any children” received (34.7%), and “No” represented the remaining (13.3%). As a watch brand, a significant percentage of the consumers will convey their passion for watches to their children, which should be considered strongly when deciding to make short-term design and marketing decisions compared to decisions that can withstand the test of time. Limited editions, sporadic pricing, price gouging, continuously changing watch aesthetics and names, will likely make a brand less valuable in the long term, even if limited editions, or rapid design changes, greedy pricing strategies, move the needle now. Think about the companies that have all the overpriced watches that nobody can resale on the pre-owned market, and then think about how many of those owners will communicate this to other buyers, and ultimately to their children as well.

How often do you update yourself on industry news? Daily (44.4%), “A few times per week” (23.2%), “A few times per month” (13.1%), “Weekly” (10.1%), “More than once a day” (8.1%), “Monthly” (1.1%), Never (0%). This will probably vary greatly depending on many factors, but overall, readers are updating themselves on industry news consistently over the course of the year.

On average how many watches do you purchase per year? The biggest segment of respondents selected that they purchase one watch per year (44.3%), with the next largest responding that purchase between 2-5 watches per year (35.1%), zero watches (15.5%), 10+ (3.1%), and 6-9 (2%). Simply put, on average, our audience buys watches usually one or more times per year.

 

Thank you to the generous readers who took the time to fill out this long survey, and to those that took the time to read these highlights! Also thank you for all the suggestions and if you have any ideas, comments, proposals, inquiries, or questions, please send us an email at info@professionalwatches.com.

Posted by:Jason Pitsch

Jason Pitsch is the Founder of Professional Watches. He appreciates good design and engineering in everything from architecture to automobiles to cameras to clothing. Yet his focus for the past decade has remained consistent on covering just one: watchmaking.