In today’s digital age, most Millennials look at their cellphone, computer, or other portable devices to know what time it is. So, many wonder, who needs a watch? Well, we’re finding that watches are still quite popular among young people, just not necessarily for their primary purpose. Instead, Millennials are wearing watches as a fashion accessory to show off their personal style.
In a recent Pulse survey, we asked 317 Millennials how often, if at all, they wear a watch and nearly one-third (32%) said they always wear one or do so most of the time. Moreover, 2 in 10 (22%) say they wear a watch sometimes, reaffirming that there’s a large interest in watches with 71% saying they own one, even if they don’t wear it very frequently. We also discovered that a handful of Millennials own more than one watch, further illustrating that watches are a fashion item that can be swapped in and out depending on one’s outfit. As one 23-year-old female put it, “Watches have recently become my favorite accessory. I wear one every single day and I have found myself buying them in different styles and metals. I don’t mind investing in them because they are classic and won’t go out of style.” Further, while 68% of Millennials say they wear a watch to know what time it is, a close percentage (65%) say they wear a watch as a fashion accessory. Interestingly enough, guys wear watches more than girls (43% compared to 22%), which makes sense as it’s still a masculine way to accessorize and 45% of Millennials believe that accessories are important to achieving their overall outfit.
When asked what brand(s) of watches they own, Fossil, Casio, and Timex came out on top. Fossil and Timex both make classic watches and Casio has long been a favorite among young people with its colorful and durable selection. Moreover, Ke$ha served as the brand ambassador for Casio in recent years, demonstrating the effort on the part of watch brands to go after this age group. Designers such as Michael Kors and Kenneth Cole were also frequently mentioned as watch brands that Millennials own, and even Rolex was listed often, likely because Millennials are receiving these items for special occasions and they want watches that make a statement. As indicated above, some are even buying a few nice watches which they know are worthwhile purchases.
Yet not all young people are interested in watches and of those who don’t wear one, 65% say it’s because watches are unnecessary and they can look at their phone to know the time. Few dislike watches however with only 5% saying they aren’t cool and 10% saying they don’t like the look of watches. We’re clearly at a point where watches are being used to complement one’s look and as Millennials value luxury, they’re investing in these practical pieces which can help shape their style.