JCOC Study: Cell Phones & iPods Replacing Fine Watches

September 25, 2006

JCOC Study: Cell Phones & iPods Replacing Fine Watches

Paso Robles, Calif.‹The Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council (JCOC) recently examined the buying habits of and expectations toward watches of 7,182 JCOC consumer panelists, focusing on 18-24 year-olds, and found that because of escalating technology and the emergence of new and competing devices that tell time, 18-24 year olds are less likely to own a watch as their primary way to tell time.

Of the 16 percent of the 18-24 year-olds who do not own a watch, 78 percent tell time with digital devices and 42 percent cite ownership of cell phones or iPods as negating the need for a watch. In fact, of the JCOC panelists who do not own a watch, only one-third of the 18-24 years-olds and less than half of the general group believe they will wear a watch in the future.

For those who do own a watch, buying a watch as an investment or to add to a collection are issues especially prevalent among the general JCOC participating panelists, most of whom are 24-59 years old. On the other hand, 18-24 year olds are twice as likely to buy a watch as a fashion accessory, although a higher percentage of the general group sees the watch as being more important as an accessory than the 18-24 year olds.

Viewing a watch as a professional necessity ranked highly with both the 18-24 year olds and the general group, with 71 percent of the 18-24 year olds and 70 percent of the general group believing that wearing a watch is more "professional" than using a cell phone or iPod to tell time. When asked which watch brands they owned, the 18-24 year olds and the general group both preferred the same two brands as their top choices, but their tastes then diverged into different brands within the same price categories.

"Instilling within the 18-24 year olds an appreciation for fine watches is imperative to averting a crisis in the future fine watch market," explains Elizabeth Chatelain, president of MVI Marketing. "Appealing to the youth marketıs affinity with digital devices or the older generationıs lure of investment can be incorporated through clever advertising."

JCOC, a division of MVI Marketing, is a U.S. and Canadian e-panel of consumers who represent all ages, genders, income levels, buying categories and geographic regions.

To learn about buying expectations, which watch types, styles, and brands are most popular, and more details about this study and others, visit www.jcoc.info, or contact Elizabeth Chatelain at (805)239-2994 x104; fax (805)239-2947; or e-mail elchat@mvimarketing.com.

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