The Covid-19 outbreak and resulting pandemic have left a ripple effect in all corners of our lives, including our spending habits, with luxury sales for spring 2020 at 70% lower than last year. At the same time, the pandemic has pushed luxury watch brands to step up their e-commerce offering. The brands that will come out on top post-lockdown will be those with the most seamless online shopping experiences: Piaget’s Virtual Salon is a good example. Also, a trend usually seen around the festive season is back with a vengeance: self-gifting. Research by Facebook into Instagram interactions shows the number of self-gifting-related postings increased even more than in the run-up to Christmas 2019. This could be a sign of hope for the luxury market as shoppers look to brighten up a difficult time.
The Covid-19 quarantine also inspired the community to come up with novel ways to connect and share their passion for watchmaking, with ideas such as Deployant’s “Shoot Your Watches!” initiative. Panerai kept its community entertained with weekly talks on the #OwnYourTime interactive platform. Brands and blogs alike were rolling out ways to bring their communities together, such as Theo and Harris’ vlogs documenting how they adapted to quarantine. Amidst one of the most unprecedented times in recent history, we take a look at which brands managed to stay relevant on social media, using social listening tools to identify those that were mentioned the most.
This is one of the most popular luxury watch brands on social, featuring in many of our previous Top 5 line-ups, such as the most talked-about brand during the Lunar New Year and the number-one watch brand on TikTok. Rolex watches have a reputation for being markers of success – a 2018 marketing manual describes it as the most aspirational brand – so at a time when people are looking for an escape, discussing and dreaming about a Rolex is a popular option.
Here is a brand that has used e-commerce and online experience to keep clients interested even during a pandemic, by bringing its creations to them. With 80% of its stores closed in April, the brand created the Watchmaking Encounters platform to showcase new releases. This leveraging of online platforms helped it to stay relevant on social media. In an interview, Chief Executive Cyrille Vigneron said that more people were reaching out to ask how they could get products shipped to loved ones for birthdays and other special occasions, showing how e-commerce can help to connect people.
Despite postponing production of new watches during the crisis, Tudor stayed relevant on social media. The brand maintains a strong presence on platforms like Instagram with almost daily posts. Regular posts about ambassadors, including Lady Gaga and David Beckham, also help to keep eyes on the brand.
One of the few brands to continue to launch new watches this year, Patek Philippe’s surprise announcement that it was re-opening production facilities earlier than most, in April, could have drummed up some discussion on social media. Like Rolex, Patek is a mainstay of our Top 5s whose efforts to remain present on social media will have been an important factor in connecting with fans during lockdown.
Prior to shuttering its manufacturing facility, the brand introduced modernized versions of its iconic Offshore chronograph that were lusted over on many blogs. This well-timed release will have helped the brand stay relevant at a time when people’s minds were elsewhere.