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Women buying more expensive watches than men

Male shoppers still make up the majority of those buying luxury timepieces, according to the boss of Watches of Switzerland.

Watches Of Switzerland has revealed a solid set of Q1 results (PA)
Watches Of Switzerland has revealed a solid set of Q1 results (PA)

By Simon Neville, PA City Editor

Men typically buy more watches than women, but female watch lovers are spending more on average than their male counterparts, according to the boss of Watches Of Switzerland.

Brian Duffy said: “We have a 70/30 split between sales of men’s watches versus women’s watches, but our experience is that there are a lot of women buying our products, with a higher average price spent.”

He added that, despite younger generations immersing themselves in new technology, there is still high demand for traditional watches by millennials.

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Brian Duffy, chief executive of Watches of Switzerland, also said customers are happy waiting a year for high end watches (Beth Walsh / PA)

“We have a very broad appeal. The average age is not increasing and the products really appeal to millennials as much as they did to any previous generation.”

Some brands, including Rolex, are so popular that in some cases there is a waiting list of a year, he added.

The chief executive made his comments as the company, which is the UK’s largest retailer of Rolex, Cartier, Omega, TAG Heuer and Breitling watches, revealed a jump in sales.

For the three months to July 28 sales rose 17.8% to £209.4 million, with £155 million taken in the UK and £54.4 million in the US.

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Watches of Switzerland is focusing on expansion into the US, including New York

Luxury watch sales were particularly strong – up 22.8% on the same period a year ago to £177.4 million. By comparison, luxury jewellery sales fell 4.6% to £16.2 million.

On a like-for-like basis, sales grew 10.8%, although the retailer closed 12 sites in the last year to focus away from jewellery and more on watches.

During the period the company, which is also investing heavily on US expansion, also said it had started a major new rollout of its Mayors retail brand, with refurbishments in Miami, Atlanta and Boston.

In the UK, the company’s Brighton store was relocated and refurbished.

The retailer, which trades as Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb, Watches Of Switzerland and Mayors, joined the stock market in May at a time when a string of newly listed businesses have seen their share price collapse.

But Watches Of Switzerland has managed to outperform expectations, listing at 270p and not yet falling below it. Shares on Tuesday morning were down 3.5p at 280.5p.

PA

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