Why is Luxury Watch Customization a Rising Trend?

Why is Luxury Watch Customization a Rising Trend?

Posted by Paul on 8th Apr 2020

Not that long ago, people used to show off their style with a luxury watch. However, merely buying a high-end timepiece is no longer enough for many customers. That’s why luxury watch customization is now trending.

Earlier, if a watch owner wanted to get their watch customized, they usually only had one option: to seek out a watchmaker who can do custom add-ons (like-us). This left many people with a dilemma, as these kinds of customizations can make a watch trendier and more unique, but it might hurt the resale value of a watch.

Although, horology enthusiasts who love to stand out from the crowd will be thrilled by a new development in the custom luxury watches industry. Now, luxury watch customization is trending, and many watch manufacturers have begun offering customization options. Providing this service shows that these watch companies are observing a larger trend in fashion and jewelry. They understand now that more consumers seem to want more unique options that help them express their style.

The Rising Trend of Luxury Watch Customization

Why is it popular?

Well, you know that style is extremely personal. It’s a reflection of your preferences & personality. Many people don’t want to see others wearing the watch that they are sporting, especially when they’ve spent a lot of money on a high-end timepiece.

There’s a unique type of pride or swag that comes with designing or customizing something unique to you, and having a luxury watch customizer brings it to life. And with us, you know that it will be made with care & dedicated craftsmanship.

There used to be a time when merely owning a luxury watch was good enough. Not anymore, though, now, in an age of mass-market consumption, it’s all about going beyond the norm. People want something that’s truly theirs.

But back in 2003, the notion that consumers wanted products no one else had, & a part in the process that created them, wasn’t commonplace in the luxury watch industry at all. So, when George Bamford founded the Bamford Watch Department, a company that specialized in customizing Rolex watches (especially the sporty kind) by applying industrial case coatings, exclusive finishes, and unique dial treatments, it was a revelation.

“We are all striving to find that true luxury item in a mass-market world, and personalization of mass-market products is one way to find that item,” says Bamford, the CEO of the Bamford Watch Department (BWD). “We are all individuals, & I believe that our clothes, jewelry, and watches should represent who we are as individuals.” He further adds.

Bamford Watch Department personalized a Zenith El Primero in matte black with a grey dial and orange accents. Now, as we also see, a Zenith Pilot Ton-Up gets customized in matte black with an aqua blue dial by the Bamford Watch Department. Rest assured, we can say that companies specializing in third-party customization have popped up to take advantage of this niche but growing market, including BWD, Blaken, MAD Paris, and Titan Black.

A few watch brands, like Bulgari, Baume, and Jaeger-LeCoultre, have turned this into a trend and started offering customizable options for individual lines.

“I have always been excited by the watches I own, but one evening, I was at a dinner, and I spotted that most people were wearing the same watch as me. I wanted my watch to be different, so I started modifying it myself,” says Bamford, who himself owns Rolex Datejusts, Breitlings, Omegas, and TAG Heuers, to name a few.

Moving on, you should also know that personalization in the luxury industry is nothing new. “You see personalization across all fields within the luxury industry, from cars to clothes – it is a general trend,” says Alexander Klingbeil, CEO of Blaken.

On this matter, Bamford says, “Personalization and the watch industry are becoming more hand in hand nowadays, and you can see it in several brands [that] are personalizing straps, cases and dials.” He further adds, “We have a motto which is ‘If you can imagine it, we can create it,’ and we love it when clients come to us inspired by something they have seen, like the color of a car or even a lipstick.”

And when the sky’s the limit, clients tend to get creative, going beyond just changing the color of the dial or applying Super-LumiNova onto the hands or indices. For example, Blaken has had clients from the Middle East requesting the faces of their relatives on the dial.

Growing Demand for Second-hand Luxury Watches from 2020-2023

The report on Global Luxury Watch Market: Size, Trends, & Forecast (2019-2023) provides an in-depth analysis of pre-owned and customized luxury watch markets.

Now, if you are wondering why we have bored you with this report, well, then get this, it was essential to discuss a gist of this report with you. This report will make you understand precisely why the customized pre-owned luxury watch market has seen a spike in recent years and why it will continue to boom in the upcoming years. (The report was published last year, but we’ll analyze it based on the year 2020)

Now coming back to the report, it includes a detailed description of pre-owned luxury watches market size and growth. The report also summarizes the global luxury watch market by value, by product & by distribution channel.

Plus, here, luxury watches have been segmented based on product type, make, demography, and distribution channel. The two main product types of luxury watches are electronic watches (commonly known as smart watches) and mechanical watches.

Further, in this report, based on manufacturing, luxury watches have been divided into Swiss watches and others. And, distribution channels for luxury watches have been segmented into two channels offline & online. Then, based on demography, luxury watches have been divided into male luxury watches and female luxury watches.

By analyzing and studying this report, we can tell you that the global luxury watch market has witnessed continuous growth in the past few years and is projected to grow even more during the forecast period, i.e., from 2020-2023 and probably even beyond that.

The pre-owned and customized luxury watch market is expected to be driven by various growth-enhancing factors such as growing demand for luxury watches among millennials, a rise in e-commerce channels, an increase in air travel, etc. However, like any other market, the second-hand luxury watch market is not free from challenges that are hindering its growth. Keeping aside the pandemic, that is, COVID-19 or Coronavirus, some other significant challenges faced by the market include a threat from counterfeit products and high production costs.

Furthermore, the key opportunities in this market are outlined by the factors that will drive the growth of the industry. So, in conclusion, it can be said that the growth of the overall luxury watch market has been forecasted for the period 2020-2023, taking into consideration the growth drivers, the previous growth patterns, and the current and future trends.

Which watch manufacturers are at the top of the customization trend? 

The luxury watch companies that have now started offering customization include IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre & Cartier.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Customization Options: Atelier Reverso

Jaeger-LeCoultre can provide you with an incredible amount of customization options on their signature swivel watch. Here, customers can choose from custom case sizes, watch functions, band colors, band lengths, dial materials, dial colors, engraving options, and more. The massive number of customization possibilities through their Atelier Reverso program allows Jaeger-LeCoultre customers the opportunity to create highly unique pieces.

IWC’s Customization Options: Ingenieur Chronograph

IWC is now offering customization options on their Ingenieur Chronograph. The luxury watch company now possesses an Ingenieur Chronograph builder on their website. Here customers can customize their watch case material, the materials and colors of their watchband, the color of their dial & dial hands, and they can even engrave their case with a custom engraving.

Will Customization Become the New Normal?

Offering customization could very well become the new norm in the luxury watches industry if the market and perhaps the customers, i.e., you respond well to these new customization options. Now, only time will tell whether the luxury watchmakers will lean towards embracing more customization options or continue with the old tradition of offering limited models. We’re excited to see what developments the future beholds.

How does Dark Triumph customize your watch?

There are many ways by which you can get your watch customized. People often ask us to change the bracelet, strap, hands, face, and dial of their precious timepieces. But, we believe that inspiration can come from anything meaningful. Some people choose a symbol or motif that from their hobby or lifestyle to put onto their watch, while others might choose a color that matches their favorite motorcycle or car.

Engraving images or text can also personalize your precious watch while adding elegance to it. Some buy their favorite design and then get it customized, while others might fancy an outdated watch and revamp it. Many people also ask us to have their initials engraved or opt for a word or saying that has special meaning to them. And, you know that there will be some people who’ll ask us for skull watches as well, much like the one Sylvester Stallone has in ‘The Expendables.’

So, if you’re ready to stand out from the crowd with a custom watch, turn to Dark Triumph. We have years of experience in providing high-quality craftsmanship. Our designer can also use sketches and photorealistic drawings to help you visualize your design.

We can create it, either as a single piece or as a model that can be used for multiple reproductions. Learn more by exploring our website and contact us today to get the watch of your dreams.