Watch Flipping & ‘Watchfluencers’—Here’s Why Gen Z Are Spending Twice What Their Parents Did On Watches

by Freya Drohan

Gen Z watch shoppers are likely to outspend older generations by almost double, according to a new report by pre-loved watch purveyor, Watchfinder & Co. This increase is arguably accredited to the rise of ‘watchfluencers’ on TikTok, and as a new group of younger consumers are entering the game, it seems they are less concerned about being able to tell time and more concerned with flexing their knowledge and taste.

Online watch fans are also promoting “watch flipping” which encourages young buyers to purchase low and sell high. All the buzz on social media about this trend has influenced a new generation of watch fans to increasingly dive into pre-loved timepieces from luxury brands like Rolex, Cartier, Omega, and to try get their hands on various vintage models from the more recent 1990s.

The new report found that the habits of style-obsessed younger generations are vastly different from those that preceded them. For Gen Z shoppers, an important factor when choosing a watch is considering the aesthetic. More than ever, watches are being seen as important outfit accessories, rather than just merely for function. Many of the Gen Z consumers admitted that being able to tell the time via their watch is not as important now due to their omnipresent smartphones. When selecting a timepiece, plenty of young adults are more keenly aware of the piece’s ability to outwardly represent status too. And younger buyers are more conscientious of their purchases, citing that 36% are buying pre-owned, due to sustainability reasons.

A number of Gen Z watch owners reported that their decisions on purchasing came from online inspiration. The report noted that numerous respondents credited social media and influencers as their push to purchase. Gen Z’s biggest influence came from reviews on Instagram, TikTok, and Youtube—unlike traditional print media or points of sale. Other driving factors were advice from peers on social media, content creators, and the aforementioned “watchfluencers.” The digital age has certainly created a resurgence of luxury watches, welcoming a new wave of watch connoisseurs. What was previously seen as a high end hobby for older, wealthier generations is now a widely shared interest across all ages and backgrounds.

All of this research comes from Watchfinder & Co’s latest report titled The Next Generation of Watch Shoppers and Culture, which can be accessed here. The company has been around since 2002, acting as the premier resource to buy, sell and part-exchange pre-owned luxury watches. Their report shows what the next generation of savvy investors are focusing on, having surveyed over 2,400 18 to 26-year-olds in the USA.

Intrigued? The report unearthed that Gen Z differs from other generations in the following ways:

*Gen Z watch shoppers are likely to outspend older generations by almost double, with an investment of $10,870 cited as the starting point for their next purchase, much higher than the average price for millennials ($5,325) or baby boomers’ ($2,632).

*TikTok watchfluencers are fueling a watch flipping culture online. Almost three quarters (73%) of Gen Z are aware of the trend, over a third (36%) have seen the content online, and another 36% have flipped watches themselves.

*While telling the time is important, 61% agree that it matters less than the status symbol and confidence you get from wearing one.

*Fashion forward and on-trend designs were Gen Z’s favorite style (35%), with minimalist/dress watches (27%) and vintage models from the ’90s (26%) rounding out the top three. Rolex (43%), Cartier (25%) and Omega (16%) featured as Gen Z’s top three brands.

*Over a third of Gen Z feel buying a watch is a better investment than gold (33%), fine wine (32%), and even real estate (23%).

Last night, Watchfinder & Co. celebrated the report with tastemakers from the worlds of watches, accessories, fashion, design, and media over a chic intimate dinner at L’Artusi Supper Club in the West Village. Guests enjoyed the exceptional Italian-inspired cuisine and warm hospitality curated by owner Kevin Garry and Executive Chef Joe Vigorito. Attendees heard more about the findings from Edouard Caumon, US Country Manager for Watchfinder & Co., while discovering their own favorites from the assortment on display. Among those in attendance were Miguel Enamorado, Kia D Goosby, Jade Vallario, Jonathan Borge, and many more.

Edouard Caumon, Jonathan Borge, Kia D. Goosby, Jade Vallario, Miguel Enamorado

Additional reporting by Bella Becker

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on all the latest fashion news and juicy industry gossip.

You may also like

1 comment

Glenn Krasner March 31, 2024 - 10:42 PM

Which is hilarious, since I very rarely see a member of Generation Z ever wear a watch!!!! I guess they just collect them and let them stay in their watch cabinets.


Leave a Comment