I will tell you our experience with the retail watch market, although
I am sure others in our field will have opposing ideas and
We are a small town (4300) jeweler, and started with Bulova watches
and clocks. Also stocked a small amount of Timex for that low end
market, but soon gave that up in favor of Lorus. The problem with
both of those is that there is very little profit margin in either,
later settled on Pulsar to fill the low end by only stocking the sale
items and discontinueds.
The Bulova line sold well for us, however we found too many watches
had to be returned due to defects. This was back in the middle 80’s,
so consider they may have resolved their quality control issues since
then. We briefly tried the Wittnauer line, then settled with Seiko,
both watches and clocks. We have been with them for about fifteen
years now, and find they sell very well as long as we keep the retails
under $200. Returns are almost nil, and most customers tell us they
replace the watch simply because they get tired of the styling and
want something newer.
I consider watches a necessary staple, rather than a profit
department within the store, so I watch carefully the total inventory
dollars we invest, and try to stock the high-turn styles. Avoid the
gimmic styles like the Kinetic, and you should do well.