Watches of Switzerland’s U.S. Sales Continue Climbing in Q3

FinancialsFeb 10, 2023

Watches of Switzerland’s U.S. Sales Continue Climbing in Q3

Demand for luxury watches continues to exceed supply, spelling a strong quarter for the company.

Pictured here is Watches of Switzerland’s store in the Mall of America. The company’s third-quarter overall revenue was up 17 percent year-over-year, and up 35 percent in the United States.
London—Watches of Switzerland had a strong third quarter as demand for luxury watches once again exceeded supply.

Its jewelry category, however, posted muted growth after a double-digit jump in the previous quarter.

CEO Brian Duffy said, “I am pleased with our strong Q3 performance, which is testament to our continued investment in leading showroom design, the strength of our brand partnerships, our scale, our dedication to omnichannel excellence, and our exceptional client service.”

The company is confident about the rest of the year, with plans to continue expanding.

Here are five important takeaways from the company’s recent earnings report.

Watches of Switzerland’s U.S. revenue soars after strategic acquisitions.

The company posted strong results, seeing double-digit growth in the third quarter and the first nine months, but its performance in the United States stood out.

For the third quarter ending Jan. 29, the company posted £407 million ($493.9 million) in total revenue, up 17 percent year-over-year.

For the first nine months of the year, revenue was £1.17billion ($1.42 billion), up 25 percent year-over-year.

The company’s recent acquisitions of independent U.S.  jewelers, including Betteridge and a Ben Bridge store, have bolstered its numbers in the country.

In the U.S., Watches of Switzerland’s revenue climbed 35 percent in Q3, totaling £169 million ($205.1 million).

For the first nine months, revenue in the region totaled £480 million ($582.4 million), up 64 percent year-over-year.

Luxury watches drove overall revenue growth, said the company, but its e-commerce performance was also strong, up 5 percent year-over-year in the quarter.

The company said it has invested in its omnichannel strategy by improving its product range, increasing next-day delivery availability, and expanding its virtual boutique team that offers client services.

In the high-end watch world, demand continues to exceed supply.

It’s a continuation of a trend seen in recent quarters.

Quarterly sales in the luxury watches category totaled £340 million ($412.6 million), up 21 percent year-over-year.

For the first nine months, revenue in the category totaled £1 billion ($1.22 billion), up 28 percent year-over-year.

Notably, pre-owned watches continue to do well, said the company, delivering strong revenue growth in the U.S. and the U.K.

The luxury jewelry category loses luster as growth slows.

Watches of Switzerland acquired a number of independent jewelers in 2021, including Betteridge, which has stores in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Vail and Aspen, Colorado.

It bought the Ben Bridge store at Mall of America outside Minneapolis-St. Paul and Timeless Luxury Watches in Plano, Texas.

The company also opened its first Bulgari boutique, which supplemented jewelry sales but could not save the quarter. 

In Q3, revenue in Watches of Switzerland’s luxury jewelry category slipped 2 percent year-over-year to £41 million ($49.8 million) in the third quarter, a notable difference from the 38 percent rise seen in the second quarter. 

In the first nine months, jewelry sales were up 18 percent to £97 million ($117.7 million).

 Related stories will be right here … 

Watches of Switzerland maintains a confident outlook.

The company stands firm on its guidance as it finishes out its fiscal year.

“Looking ahead, we remain confident that our strategy will further enhance our leadership position as we continue to deliver on our long range plan objectives,” said Duffy.

Watches of Switzerland upped its fiscal guidance in the previous quarter, citing a change in the foreign exchange rates.

It is maintaining its outlook of £1.5 billion to £1.55 billion ($1.7 billion to $1.8 billion) in sales.

“We believe the strength of the luxury watch and jewelry categories, the unique supply/demand dynamics of luxury watches and client registration lists, our portfolio of leading brand partnerships, and the success and agility of our model will continue to support long-term sustainable sales growth. We remain confident in our long-range plan objectives,” said the company.

Watches of Switzerland continues its expansion plans.
In addition to its 2021 acquisitions, the company has been opening new stores in the U.S., the U.K., and Europe, and refurbishing some of its existing locations.

It has a number of committed projects for its current quarter including the opening of a new Watches of Switzerland flagship showroom in the American Dream complex in New Jersey, set to open in April. 

The company will also open its third Watches of Switzerland showroom in Manhattan, located at 
One Vanderbilt in the Midtown neighborhood, anchored by Omega and Cartier.

In its home market of London, it plans to relocate its current 900-square-foot Rolex boutique on Bond Street to a new 7,200-square-foot space on Old Bond Street.

Its European expansion includes opening its fifth mono-brand boutique, an Omega location in Stockholm, Sweden and its first mono-brand boutique in Dublin, Ireland, a TAG Heuer boutique. 

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