What Is the Watch Industry?

The watch industry is a collection of companies involved in the manufacture, repair, and sale of watches. Some of the most famous leaders in the industry come from Switzerland and Germany, although Japan and China are also very active in the watch industry. Numerous trade and professional organizations represent the industry and engage in activities like public relations outreach, legislative lobbying, and the development of new standards in watch production and sales.

Companies within this industry are extremely diverse. Some focus on specialty products like watches for divers, aviators, scientists, athletes, and other people who may need extremely accurate timekeeping. These watches may also have additional features to assist their users, like timers, multi-zone settings, and other options. They can be expensive because of their special nature and represent a niche market within the industry.

Others produce primarily luxury watches. These include timepieces that can be worn as jewelry as well as watches with high precision and elegant designs. Some of these companies have been in the watch industry for a century or more, and their brands are often very well known among consumers. On the other end, some companies produce large numbers of inexpensive timepieces designed to appeal to consumers at lower price points. These products may not be as reliable or as meticulously designed, but they can be affordable for consumers.

One of the concerns of the worldwide watch industry is counterfeiting. Name brand watches tend to be extremely expensive, and counterfeiters in some regions of the world produce their own versions for sale to consumers. These versions are much cheaper and typically are not produced to the same quality standards. Numerous representative organizations have anti-counterfeiting task forces and work with governments and regional law enforcement to identify and crack down on counterfeiting activity.

Employment in the watch industry can be very diverse. Some companies need highly trained technicians who can design, build, and repair watches. Marketing and public relations professionals are also needed, as are designers with good aesthetics to work on new product lines. Depending on the kind of work people are most interested in, it may help to have a college education, while in other cases the best way to enter the industry may be to start work as an apprentice or low-ranking employee. Skilled watchmakers and repair people take on a limited number of students to pass on the tools and techniques of the trade.