Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Sound You Hear...

Is the sound of shit hitting the fan....globally.
Phil Devos - Elizabethtown (as played by Alec Baldwin)

Courtesy of the FH

April is in the books, and it was a bit of a turd.  Swiss watch exports continue to slide in a southern direction.  What seems clear is that, most likely, exports are going to continue to slide steadily towards zero.  We have already seen the initial bump (which was not really much of a bump at all) from the SIHH and BaselWorld.  

In terms of retail here in North America, we are currently in the second best sweet spot for male watch purchasing - "Dads and Grads" with high school and college graduations and Fathers Day taking place.  And the numbers for April in the US reflect an increase in watches coming in, so that perhaps that could be viewed as a bright spot, except...

The anecdotal evidence from out in the field is that traditional retail sales are still pretty flat.  But also curious to relate?  Outlets that offer "gently used" watches are growing at a fairly rapid pace.  More and more brands are turning to blockchain verification systems for pre-owned (which in many instances really means grey-market, with the "previous owner" being the brand itself), and this, in turn, ensures that resale prices continue to drop.  

We shall see what May has to offer, and let's hope the overall export numbers don't continue to dip.  But what this continued slide really reveals?  The lessons of the 70s, 2008 and the past few years seem to still not resonate with the shot callers in several brands.

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