Over the last 20 years, James Ross Jewellers have seen some interesting changes in the jewellery and watch market and some equally interesting things which have stayed the same. After our previous blog on the market in China, we wanted to explore the market closer to home so asked our very own Mr Ross to share his observations of the local market here in Portslade, Brighton and Hove. He’s noticed that the banking crisis, romance habits, property prices and social media have all had effects on the way people buy jewellery and watches.
James notes that when the banks become unreliable and interest rates are at rock bottom, people look to invest in more dependable assets. A classic example of this is the way people invest in gold and the gold price in the UK reflects this because it shot up at an alarming speed after the banking crisis. In September 2007, gold was roughly £353 an ounce but by September 2011, it had risen to £1,160 an ounce. This led to fewer people buying gold jewellery from our shop and more people choosing silver or platinum instead.
Rolex watches are also a solid investment and James has seen the prices go up and up in recent years but thinks there could be another reason for that too.
Astronomical property prices have meant young people are staying at home for longer as the prospect of being able to afford to move out becomes more and more remote. The positive side of this is young people now have more disposable income than ever and James has noticed a real rise in young men buying luxury watches including Rolex’s. Increased demand has seen the waiting list for brand new Rolex watches stretching to up to 5 or 6 years and prices for some models going up by £3,000 or £4,000 in the last 4 years. James has also observed that some models, like the sports watches including the Submariner and GMT, seem to always be popular and only ever go up in value while others like the Bubbleback models were in fashion a while back but now their popularity has dropped back.
With younger people spending so much time on social media, James wonders if celebrity culture on Instagram and other channels has influenced young people in their buying choices. He thinks that the young men buying all these luxury watches all of a sudden are seeing them on the wrists of their favourite celebrities online and wanting them.
The days of hopeful young men coming into their local jewellers to buy an engagement ring for their beloved are coming to an end, according to James. He sees very few of these types coming into our shop now but, instead, he helps young couples design the custom engagement rings of their dreams. He says he gets very few ‘off the shelf’ purchases now for engagement rings with younger people wanting something unique designed just for them.
Because of the classic nature of the jewellery and watches we sell at James Ross Jewellers, we aren’t as affected by constantly shifting fashion as some other jewellers. The only slight change we’ve seen is a shift away from the very chunky chains and watches which were fashionable a little while ago. Other than that, our collection of fine and semi-fine jewellery, vintage and modern watches are as popular as ever and our superb customer service never goes out of fashion. Call us now on 01273 239763 for all of your watch and jewellery needs.