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2021 Big Survey: This Is the Top Performing Watch Brand in Independent Jewelry Stores

Japanese maker tops poll for fourth straight year; Rolex falls out of top 3.

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2021 Big Survey: This Is the Top Performing Watch Brand in Independent Jewelry Stores

CITIZEN WAS ONCE again named the top watch brand by American independent jewelers in this year’s INSTORE Big Survey, edging New York-based Bulova and its Japanese peer Seiko.

It is the 4th straight year Citizen has finished No. 1 in our poll, which asks jewelers to name their “best performing” watch brands. The question is designed to encourage jewelry-store owners to consider return on effort and investment and not just sales.

Swiss luxury giant Rolex, slipped out of the top three for the first time in four years amid supply issues.

Citizen’s strong performance comes at a time when traditional watch sales are struggling against the onslaught from smart watches, especially the Apple Watch, whose sales in 2019 surpassed the combined sales of all Swiss watch brands. According to another question in the 2021 Big Survey, only a little more than half of independent jewelers now carry watches, down from over three-quarters a decade ago.

The 2021 Big Survey was carried out between August and September, attracting more than 600 anonymous responses from owners of independent jewelry stores across the United States and Canada. The full results will be published in the upcoming November issue of INSTORE.

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Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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