Who’s buying all the Michael Kors watches?

What is the deal with the Michael Kors watch phenomenon? Everywhere I look there’s another small wrist encircled by an oversized gold Kors disc. Beauty PRs and fashion assistants absolutely love them, as do twenty-something city girls. “Girls that work in the city who want a Rolex. They might not know who Michael Kors is but they know they like shiny things,” tweeted @WhistlesPR in reply to my ‘who’s buying all the Kors watches’ tweet. “It’s chunky and looks expensive but it’s waaay cheaper than my dream Rolex! It has that magpie effect on everyone who clocks it,” confirmed @saraheangus.

Watch retailer DM London, who owns the Time2.co.uk site and also buys for Asos and Selfridges, introduced Kors watches in 2008 to a tiny space in Selfridges, Oxford Street. “We saw they were a quiet burner so by the spring of 2009 we expanded out to our other locations,” says fashion watch buyer, Keira Payne Gibbs. “MK5055 [a sporty gold chrono] was an immediate best seller and remains one of the best selling watches we’ve ever had”.

Watches in general have become newly fashionable, not necessarily as timepieces but as statement-making accessories. For younger consumers, wearing a mechanical watch is a novelty, a reaction to all things digital and the more glam watches are proving the most popular. One of the strengths of the Kors brand is an ability to recognise emerging trends. “Kors honed the ‘boyfriend watch’ market themselves and based an entire case style, ‘Jet Set’, on the boyfriend style,” says Payne Gibbs. “They were also one of the first to launch entire ranges of gold plated watches just as the market began to take off. They got into ceramics just as it took off and now it’s the same with rose gold.”

With prices for Kors watches hovering around the £250 mark, they’re an easy entry-level accessory to buy into if you’re not in a position to spend £600+ on the bag or shoes. Clearly, plenty of people aren’t; according to the New York Times, sales of Kors watches went up 142% in the first quarter of this year. And good news for Mr Kors, his customers don’t just settle for one. “A Kors customer will typically have more than one and we do particularly well when new season launches,” says Payne Gibbs. “I’d say they were very loyal customers to the brand.”


Rose gold plated watch, ASOS

Unisex gold plated watch, Selfridges

Ceramic-style white watch, Time2

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15 Responses to Who’s buying all the Michael Kors watches?

  1. Ooh I love the gold unisex one!

    Personally I like MK watches because I like chunky, boyfriend-style watches and these are the perfect size.

  2. Isn’t it an interesting phenomenon – how Michael Kors have built an entire demographic of those who now want to own an entire MK wardrobe, from buying into the brand with entry-level luxury in the form of watches. It was a very clever brand move in my opinion – so many other brands rely on perfume (which I think Michael Kors actually do quite well too) or beauty for this same tactic.

    I personally love my giant rose gold MK watch, but for me it’s to add a bit of manliness to balance out the girly abundance of sparkly cuffs that are permanently glued to my wrists.

    Briony xx

  3. Sue Azari says:

    I think you’ve really summed up the reason behind why this is such a popular trend, as a twenty-something girl in fashion I definitely do have a love for these watches because of the novelty of them and the paradox of wearing something masculine. The fact they’ve been doing the rounds on a number of fashion blogs has also helped peak my interest in owning one! Thanks for such a great and informative post.

  4. Kit says:

    Yep, six of my fashion friends has them. Maybe I should ditch my men’s Burberry Sport for Michael Kors.

  5. Kenneth says:

    I love mine! It’s chunky and looks great and I know that if anything happens to it whilst I rush round at work, it’s not too much of a heartache!

  6. I have the gold Michael Kors watch. Like the YSL ‘Arty’ ring it’s annoying that everyone else has the exact same thing but I love it despite that.

  7. Jamila says:

    Oh my! I seen the white ceramic one at work the other day. Totally going on my “To Buy” list!

  8. Caz says:

    Love this post – mainly as I have been researching buying a Michael Kors Rose gold watch when I go on holiday to the states at end of August. I was barely aware of Michael Kors before the watch, it certainly wasn’t a brand I was interested in but the watches seem to suit my style. The test will be if I decide to buy one or not!

    Caz x

  9. Lola says:

    I am OBSESSED with watches at the moment and I am in love with the Michael Kors collection, it’s as it says above-they do resemble something Rolex but at a fraction of the price. AND they do seem to be everywhere, I’ve spotted almost every style blogger wearing one! xx

  10. Hayley says:

    Absolutely love the rose gold one from ASOS. Was gonna buy the boyfriend the mens version, but decided against it. I’d be too jealous!

  11. Chuck says:

    They’re everywhere aren’t they?? Interesting to know that city girls like them, I was wondering if it was a fashion blogger only trend.

  12. Nadira V Persaud says:

    I don’t understand the hoo ha, though I think they are nice looking watches. What I do know is they are made by Fossil!!

  13. Cindy says:

    I personally have 2 already, it really is hard to stop buying isn’t it?

    I love the bling without looking too tacky.

  14. Annelie says:

    I bought a MK watch a few weeks ago. I saw one in a magazine with a wrap strap (similar to the Hermes one but bigger) I like chunky watches as I am tall and small watches are too small and silly looking on my arm :-)

  15. Cesar says:

    People are stupid for paying so much for a Chinese watch. Just because it’s shiny but no quality. I have loved Tag Huer and yes it’s pricy but it’s Swiss and actually designed to fit on a male wrist perfectly. Kors makes the watch too big for females having such small wrists. it looks pathetic honestly.

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