What Kind of Watch Buyer Are You?

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You can tell a lot about a person by the time he or she keeps. Or at least that was Ken Kessler’s assertion in a 2011 WSJ article entitled “What Your Watch Says About You.”

From Banker to Bohemian, Daredevil to Spy, Kessler can pigeonhole you into one of seven archetypes just by the watch dangling from your wrist. 

In reality, creating and validating watch-buying personas that are actionable for brands and retailers requires a bit more in-depth personal information about each consumer and more rigorous statistical analysis.

Over the past month, First Insight has collected demographic and lifestyle data from more than 1,200 watch buyers. We also asked them questions about how and why they buy watches and their opinions on 40 specific watches.

We even asked them to identify with one of Kessler’s archetypes.

We ran this data through our InsightTargeting Persona Engine and found four distinct personas:

  • Practicals spend very little on watches and buy them based on price and functionality. When these self-described “workaholics” aren’t working hard, they’re playing hard. They most commonly identified as Bohemians and Daredevils.
  • Statements are mostly young, business upstarts eager to plop down a lot of money for a trendy luxury-brand watch because nothing says success like expensive tastes. They most commonly identified as Entrepreneurs and Fashion Icons.
  • Classics have developed an appreciation for quality and styles that last instead of pursuing flash. They've reached higher levels in their career and look forward to unwinding on the weekends. They most commonly identified as Bankers.
  • Unpluggeds have a carefree approach to life. Who needs a watch when you are not working and kicking back on the weekends? They are almost 3 times more likely to not be working, and when they do, it’s a non-traditional job with very casual work attire. They most commonly identified as Spies.

More importantly, we were able to identify specific watches and price points that resonate the most with each persona—just the kind of information watch brands and retailers would love to have to inform their decisions on product design, assortment selection, and pricing. 

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