Currently people carry several devices that give them an idea of the time. Yet demand for wristwatches in the country has not seen a decrease. Traders say the watch market is expanding by more than 10% every year.
Multifunctional wristwatches are sold the most among all types of watches sold in the country.
Leading watch sellers said mostly youths buy multifunctional wristwatches. Both men and women still consider wristwatches an important element of fashion. Therefore, there is a high demand for wristwatches despite the fact that people have some alternatives to watches in these times.
Besides, the trend of giving away watches as gifts on social or family occasions is still very strong.
Other than individual buyers, local and foreign business entities are the biggest buyers of wristwatches, which they usually give away as presents.
Watch sellers said multifunctional watches made by Tissot, Credence, Montrex, Casio and Seiko, are in high demand.
The watch traders also say the country's watch market, worth around Tk180-200 crore, is completely dependent on imports as there is no reputable watchmaker in the country.
Kallol Industries Limited, the top wristwatch importer, has been in this business for 24 years. The company sells watches of around 30 world renowned brands.
Masud Alam, manager of the watch division of the company, told The Business Standard, "We sell watches of different brands. However, if someone orders some special watch, especially very pricey ones, we also import those for them."
There are a significant number of buyers of these exclusive and expensive watches in the country, according to an official of the company.
Expensive watches are sold in large volumes
Longines is the most expensive brand among the watches sold by Kallol Industries. Prices of Longines watches range from Tk81,000 to Tk15 lakh.
Another expensive brand, Rado's watches, is priced between Tk65,000 and Tk9 lakh.
Prices of multifunctional watches range from Tk3,000 to Tk2 lakh.
The traders said the number of their corporate customers has been increasing day by day. Banks, financial institutions and pharmaceutical companies buy watches in bulk. They give away these watches as gifts at their annual general meetings and other functions.
Mohammad and Sons has been importing and selling watches for the last two years. The company's General Manager, Shafayat Chowdhury, told TBS that it imports and markets watches made by ten brands. Prices of the watches imported by the company range from Tk35,000 to Tk10 lakh.
Mohammad and Sons has two different wings for different categories of brands – Luxury Watch Boutique (LWB) and Watch Collections (WC). The LWB division has the authorised dealership of six prominent Swiss brands – Zenith, Montblanc, TAG
Heuer, Ores, Movado and Frederique Constant. Most people love to buy these Swiss brands due to the style and longevity of the watches.
On the other hand, the WC division works with more economical brands and currently has dealerships for Alpine, Aviator from Switzerland, Zeppelin from Germany, and Nordgreen from Denmark. Among them, Zeppelin and Nordgreen are selling well due to their designs and reasonable price structures.
The watch sellers said Tommy Hilfiger, Obaku, Esprit, Omega, Gucci, Fossil, Diesel, Swistar, Lobor, Victorinox, Burberry, Royal Crown and Rolex are the most popular brands in the country.
A smartwatch market is developing
Smartwatches have recently been becoming more popular among youths in Bangladesh. These watches sold, especially during peak shopping seasons, in large numbers in the country's markets.
Users can run different apps on smartwatches to keep records of how long they walk, navigate by using maps, view notifications, make and receive phone calls, and see time, day and date.
It is mainly Apple that dominates the smartwatch market in Bangladesh. There is a high demand for Apple Watch Series-3 and Apple watch Series-4 here.
There is a certain class of buyers for Apple watches, said smartwatch sellers.
In addition to these, smartwatches made in China and other countries are also found in our local market.
Businessmen said smartwatches have become popular among young employees because their operating system is easy to use. Around 8-10 lakh pieces of these watches are sold here every year.