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Consumers eager to buy watches they used to own

American Apparel selling out-of-production watches

In a world where everyone has a cellphone on them, the need for a watch is all but gone. People are training themselves to get ell the information they need from their portable technology, so does this spell doom for thetimepiece industry? Actually the reverse is true.

Casio Calculator Watch

Casio Calculator Watch

Since watches are no longer essential pieces of equipment keeping the world on time, they are now becoming more of a fashion statement as each new technological advance brings us further away from the “analog” ways of doing things.

One company, American Apparel has discovered a niche market in old school watches that have proven to be irresistible to fashionistas eager for nostalgia:

The retail chain didn’t even start selling watches until just a few years ago. But the company, which has struggled in recent years, was willing to experiment. So American Apparel found some colorful novelty watches that were popular decades ago, and tested selling them.

“People flipped out when they saw them,” says creative director Marsha Brady. The company quickly realized its tech-crazy customers were craving a sense of nostalgia, and were eager to snap up watches that remind them of styles from their childhood.

“One of the most popular things we hear when people are looking at the watches is, ‘Oh my god! I used to have that watch!’ ” Brady says. “I think that’s what draws people in initially. Vintage is a really big part of our aesthetic.”

American Apparel has since scoured the country for watch styles no longer in production. The company sold 84,000 watches in 2011.

The chain fashion store is expecting sales of out of production timepieces to grow 30% in the next year. As more and more people rediscover the watches they owned as teenagers, expect this section of the market to skyrocket and perhaps you can expect some watch manufacturers to reinvent some of their old school watch lines as demand grows for all things retro.

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