Headwinds Hit Japan's Big Three

Asian Made & Swiss Asian watches

Headwinds Hit Japan's Big Three

Postby koimaster » May 23rd 2018, 11:54am

Japan's Big Three watch manufacturers are trying to get their watch mojo back. But it isn't easy.

All three companies -- Seiko Holdings Ltd., Citizen Watch Co. Ltd., and Casio Computer Co. Ltd. -- are giant, Tokyo-headquartered multinationals with diversified product portfolios. Watches, though, are each firm's most important product. Timepieces accounted for 54% of Casio's total revenues, 52% of Seiko's, and 51% of Citizen's last year. Watches also account for the majority of firms' profit.

For most of this decade, Citizen, Seiko and Casio have enjoyed an extraordinary watch boom. It began immediately after the Great Recession of 2009. From 2010 through 2015, global watch sales for all three companies rose each year. Sales at Citizen, number one in total watch sales, jumped 47% to ¥181.2 billion ($1.61 billion) over the six-year run. Sales at number two Seiko over the same period jumped 80.5% to ¥164.4 billion ($1.46 billion). Number three Casio fared the best. Its watch sales more than doubled (+126%), rising to ¥176.7 billion ($1.57 billion).

Then came 2016, a wicked year for watches. Swiss watch exports fell 9.9% that year. Even seemingly invincible Apple saw unit sales of its watch decline slightly. For fiscal 2016, Seiko watch sales dropped 18%, Citizen's fell 9.7% and Casio's fell 4%.

https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/headw ... 1cc48dd36b


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