Secondhand watch e-tailer Watchfinder & Co. will become the first United Kingdom watch seller to remove gender labels from its website.
The Richemont-owned e-tailer will instead simply label watches as small, medium, or large.
The company is urging watch manufacturers to follow its lead and refer to watches by their size alone, and ditch the industry’s traditional model of labeling certain watches as only suitable for a particular sex.
“By removing the men’s and women’s categories from our business we are encouraging customers to explore and discover more watches, helping them find the right watch for them,” said Watchfinder & Co. cofounder Matt Bowling in a statement. “With a large proportion of men’s watches getting smaller and women’s watches getting bigger, we feel that gender categories are now obsolete.
“We feel that categorizing a watch as either men’s or women’s is now both redundant, restrictive, and outdated. Everyone should be able to choose whatever style they want, without being dictated as to whether it is suitable for their gender or not.”
The trend toward removing traditional gender classifications for watches—a longtime habit in the industry—was spotlighted by JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky in a March 8 piece in the New York Times, and subsequently discussed on JCK’s podcast, The Jewelry District.
The issue was also the subject of a much-discussed piece in Hodinkee, “All Watches Should Be Unisex—and Here’s Why,” which at press time has garnered over 500 comments.
Author Cara Barrett argued that, if watch companies made their products genderless, “they would be catering to 100 percent of their customers.… Ultimately, if you make watches unisex, then you will sell more watches to more people because everyone will be able to envision themselves with one on the wrist.”
She further argued that changing the traditional classifications would “allow for better product design” and “make women feel more included in what has typically been a dude-driven industry and hobby.”
Top: Tudor Heritage Black Bay M79230N-0009 (photo courtesy of Watchfinder & Co.)
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