Time for a new watch?

How do you tell the time? Do you wear a watch? If not, you’re probably not alone…who doesn’t use their phone to tell the time these days?

BUT…watches as a simple fashion accessory (think of the as a bracelet with benefits!) are, apparently, on the rise, according to new Mintel research, which finds a quarter of UK consumers who own a watch say they rarely use it to tell the time, with over a quarter (27%) saying that wear one as a fashion accessory. That figure rises to 47% of 20-24 year olds. So, it’s time for a new watch!

The UK watch market grew by 4.6% in 2014 to reach £1.08 billion, with sales estimated to reach £1.13 billion in 2015. In comparison, growth of just 1.5% was seen in 2013. Purchasing over the past five years has been strongest among young men, with over three in five (58%) men aged 25-44 buying a new watch in this period, up from the national average of half (51%).

“As people are surrounded all day by technology that also includes the time, watches are no longer being purchased solely for timekeeping. Around a quarter of watch owners rarely use their watch to tell the time, highlighting the growing use of alternative devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops for timekeeping and the perception of the watch as a fashion accessory.,” says Tamara Sender, Senior Fashion Analyst at Mintel.

“Although fashion watch brands have seen a boom in popularity over the last few years, the fashion watch is a fickle market. While a watch is currently seen as a trendy fashion accessory, this could change if a new item of jewellery becomes fashionable and will mean that consumers shift their spend away from watches.”

So, it’s time to get a new watch. Here’s our pick, on our Weekly Wishlist. Find the perfect new watch here!

the weekly wishlist watch1.Rectangle face men’s watch, £100, Hammond & Co by Patrick Grant, Debenhams, 2. Black men’s watch, £75, French Connection, 3. Men’s Addison brushed steel watch, £89, French Connection, 4. Men’s Aviation Date window watch, £100, Hammond & Co by Patrick Grant, Debenhams, 5. Coloured leopard print men’s watch, £60, JOY, 6. Men’s silver dial stripe strap watch, £90, Hammond & Co by Patrick Grant, Debenhams, 7. white quilted strap watch, £12.99, New Look, 8. Kaleidoscope watch, £55, JOY, 9. tie-strap pink watch, £14.99, H&M, 10. diamante twist watch, £14.99, New Look, 11. Black diamante watch, £69, French Connection, 12. Rose gold coloured watch, £39, RJR John Rocha, Debenhams, 13.Leopard print strap watch, £12.99, H&M, 14. Silver square watch, £70, JOY, 15, Pale blue large face watch, £65, French Connection 16. Pink digital watch, £14.99, H&M

Apple Watch? Any watch!

When Apple previewed their Apple Watch earlier this week, we loved comedian Ellen de Generes’s Tweet about it.

apple watch ellen quote twitterHow we laughed. For years we’ve all been checking the time on our phones, and now Apple want us to check our time on an Apple watch?! Ridiculous!

Or not, of course. Maybe Apple have inadvertently done the watch business a favour. It’s got us thinking about those antiquated timepieces we so rarely wear these days, at least.

The Apple Watch may be on the first (not the first) computer watches, but watches in some form have been around since the 15th Century. That is a long time!

The concept of the wristwatch goes back to the production of the very earliest watches in the 16th century. Elizabeth I of England received a wristwatch from Robert Dudley in 1571,  described as an arm watch. From the beginning, wrist watches were almost exclusively worn by women, while men used pocket-watches up until the early 20th century.

And then along came phones. Ask for the time these days and most people are likely to bring their mobile out. But there are a lot of lovely watches out there – so why not go old school and treat yourself, not to an Apple Watch, but a well, a real watch!


apple watch watches mensClockwise, from top left: Casio unisex digital watch, £25, Debenhams, gold white face watch £155, French Connection, Navy stripe watch, £11.99, New Look, Blue detail watch, £95, slim rectangle watch, £80, both French Connection, black face watch, £19.99, New Look, Rocha.John Rocha watch, £70, Debenhams, camo strap Komono watch, £60, Polynesian print strap Komono watch, £60, both JOY


Apple Watch watches ladies oneClockwise, from top left: Jewelled white face watch, £89, French Connection, Guess bracelet watch, £208.50, Debenhams, kaleidoscope watch, £55, JOY, owl pendant watch, £10, Claire’s Accessories, floral face watch, £12.99, New Look, Kat face watch, £50, JOY, square gold watch, £19.99, New Look, rose gold watch, £119, French Connection, tan wrap strap, £15, Claire’s Accessories, dog face Floozie by FrostFrench watch, £25, Debenhams