WATCH: WATCH: Watch men are growing in Canada.
But while watch lovers are taking their love for the art form to new heights, a new study shows the average age of watch buyers in Canada is increasing.
The report by the University of British Columbia says a growing number of men are choosing to buy watches online or through stores, and they are paying for them with their savings.
It is the first time researchers have looked at this phenomenon.
“It’s really a great time for young men to look into watch buying,” said study co-author John MacKay.
“The trend is so positive that there’s a big push to buy from a store, and there’s so many great brands out there.”
For the study, the university used data from Statistics Canada, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the National Retail Federation and Statistics Canada to track the buying habits of men ages 18 to 39.
They were asked whether they purchased watches online, at a retailer or at a watch store.
The researchers also asked men about their favourite brands of watches.
For the most part, men were buying watches at watch shops, though there was a trend towards buying watches through the mail.
Men were also spending more money at watch stores than online, on average.
Men’s average purchase price at watch shop locations ranged from $350 to $1,300, while online prices ranged from around $500 to $2,000.
The study also looked at the average buying habits by age group.
Older men were spending more on watches, with an average of $1.85 per watch.
This is about double the spending of young men, and the study says younger men are spending more than older men.
The average age for buying online was 20 for men, but the average was 19 for women.
The Canadian Watch Club Association says younger and middle-aged men are increasingly choosing to spend money on watches online and to shop online for watches, and this trend has been in place for years.
“We are seeing a new trend in the buying of watches online,” said Craig Gormley, CEO of the Canadian Watch Association.
“People are increasingly buying watches from online retailers like Amazon and eBay and they’re buying from retailers like Target and Target Canada and Wal-Mart.”
The study found that most men were willing to pay more than $1k for a watch, and nearly two-thirds of them would pay more for a smartwatch.
About 30 per cent of men said they would spend at least $3,000 for a digital watch, with a further 20 per cent saying they would purchase a smart watch for $3k.
“This is not a trend that’s going to go away,” said MacKay, who is also the president of the Ontario Association of Watch Clubs.
“There’s going for the big bucks.”
Watch buyers in Ontario were asked if they would buy a watch for their kids, but that was a far cry from the purchases made by men in other provinces.
The vast majority of men in Ontario said they wouldn’t buy a smartWatch for their own children, with less than a quarter saying they’d buy a new smartWatch to give to their child.
And nearly 40 per cent would only buy a “personalized” smartWatch.
“SmartWatchs are going to be the future,” said Gorm, who said smartwatch buying will be a global trend.
“I think it’s a great thing.
We can’t wait to see the next wave of smart watches.”
Watch buyer data also showed that the average spend on watches increased over time, and that buying a smart phone has become more popular.
For example, the average cost of a smartPhone for men has increased from $6 to $6,400 over the past decade, with the average price of a digital phone increasing from $1 to $5,200.
However, the study also found that men are not only buying watches online but also on-line.
About 37 per cent said they are buying watches on-site, and about 30 per to 40 per one in five men say they are purchasing watches online.
While online purchases are increasing, there are many factors behind the rise of watch buying.
“Consumers are not just buying watches for themselves, they’re also purchasing them from other people, so they are doing it online as well,” said co-investigator Michael Lacy, an associate professor at UBC.
“What is also interesting is the rise among young men.
When they look at the brands they are interested in, they are spending much more money on their watches than the other brands.”