US Watch Consumption

Consumer spending has seen some dramatic changes since 2007.  The stock market crash and monster recession of 2008 hit us hard and forced all of us to reevaluate where we should be spending our income.  An article I just read comparing Department of Commerce statistics from consumer spending in the first quarter of 2007 and the same period in 2011 showed some pretty interesting results.

There are several industries that have been hit the hardest over the four-year span.  Postal and delivery services have been down a whopping 28 percent, while pleasure boats, tobacco and new cars have been down 12 percent, 16 percent and 12 percent respectively.

Cell-Phone services have seen the greatest increase in consumer spending at 31 percent, while foreign travel to the US is up 17 percent (I am sure the recent weakness in the dollar has something to do with this stat).  Up 13 percent?  You know it…watches!  I loved seeing that.  Even during the toughest of times, the watch industry has held strong.  Statistics continually show that the cell-phone generation truly does have an unparalleled appreciation for watches.

Images from Time Magazine

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The Cell Phone Generation

There was an awesome article in The New York Times this week about watches being rediscovered by the cell phone generation.  If you have yet to see it, I definitely recommend you check it out:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/07/fashion/watches-are-rediscovered-by-the-cellphone-generation.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&hpw

In today’s world, watches certainly are not necessary to find out what time it is.  There seem to be cell phones and apple products everywhere you look.  I wrote a blog a while back about when a couple buddies and I went out to brunch, someone asked what time it was and two of us reached for our cell phones.  We all had nice watches on at the time…

Once cell phones became prevalent in our society, many people thought watches would become obsolete.  After all, they are no longer as necessary.  But in the end, is the time what watches are all about?

Musician John Mayer is a huge watch collector, and in addition to having a great last name, he has an awesome outlook on watches.  He was once quoted as saying, “A man’s got two shots for jewelry: a wedding ring and a watch. The watch is a lot easier to get on and off than a wedding ring.”

There are not many way for a man to express himself in a material sense.  The best quote in the NY Times article is Mr. Thoreson’s about how a watch is “an understated statement about your station in life, your taste level.”  Watches are not just timepieces, and clearly that message is being accepted by the cell phone generation.