Despite dropping its production by 140,000 units or 19 percent to 810,000 watches last year, Rolex still proves to be at the top of the Swiss watch industry.
With the pandemic greatly affecting multiple brands in the industry, Rolex still managed to hold its own, gaining more market share than its competitors such as LVMH, Swatch Group and Richemont. According to WatchPro, turnover for Rolex also dropped by 14 percent, though production output fell even faster than turnover due to an average increase of 5 percent in price per watch.
Rolex now holds approximately 24.9 percent of the global market amongst Swiss watches. With a quarter of the market, its retail sales value tallies to $8.5 billion USD. In 2019, Rolex only held 22 percent of the market. The feat is incredible considering the entire Swiss watch industry was estimated to have shrunk by one-third in 2020.
Globally, Omega still remains as the second largest Swiss watchmaker, selling 500,000 units last year. In 2019, Omega sold 794,000 units. Cartier has managed to sell more watches in 2020 than 2019, with the final count of 490,000 compared to the previous year’s 410,000. This was in due part to the 30 percent slash in price. Other brands such as Swatch Group’s Longines and Tissot also shipped more watches and managed to secure spots in the top 20, selling 1.5 million and 2.4 million timepieces respectively. However, it is important that these watches are comparably cheaper than other watches in the luxury sector.
Privately-owned watchmakers including Rolex/Tudor, Audemars Piguet, Breitling and Patek Philippe all outperformed publically listed groups such as LVMH, Swatch Group, Kering and Richemont.