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Accessibility Analysis of Luxury Watch Brand Websites

April 04, 2018

Wristwatches can be considered both a basic necessity (a simple time-keeper) and a form of ultimate indulgence (a one-of-a-kind piece), depending on the brand of choice. An online presence allows luxury watch companies to spread their reach to prospective customers all over the world. However, people with visual, auditory, cognitive, speech or special physical needs often have difficulty accessing information on these sites due to lack of support for assistive technology.

The Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BoIA) identified the top 25 highest-trafficked luxury watch brand websites and scanned each, creating a benchmark as to the overall web accessibility of the industry. The assessment was based on the results of automated scans performed by BoIA’s A11Y® Platform, a proprietary program built specifically to identify issues based on the international standards for testing website accessibility, called Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 A/AA.

WCAG 2.0 A/AA consists of 38 checkpoints within 4 main categories, or Principles, which create the foundation necessary for all users to access and use web content equally. These Principles are:


Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This means that users must be able to perceive the information being presented (it can't be invisible to all of their senses). The failure rate based on this principle across the watch companies was 34%.

The most common issue under this principle was checkpoint 1.3.1 which requires that information about the meaning and structure of your content are conveyed by more than the visual presentation of your content.


User interface components and navigation must be operable (the interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform). The failure rate based on this principle across the watch companies was 55%.

The most common issue under this principle was checkpoint 2.4.4 which requires descriptive link text helps all users decide whether they wish to follow the link.


Information and the operation of a user interface must be understandable. Users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface. The failure rate based on this principle across the watch companies was 45%.

The most common issue under this principle was checkpoint 3.3.2 which requires that labels and/or instructions are necessary when the content requires user input. The instructions need to be clear and simple, and should not contain information unnecessary to complete the task at hand. Simple instructions, connected to form controls can assist users with disabilities.


Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. As technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible. The failure rate based on this principle across the watch companies was 90%.

The most common issue under this principle was checkpoint 4.1.2 which requires that the name and role of each user interface element on the page should be programatically available, so that assistive technologies can gather information about and interact with them.



  • Louis Moinet
  • Corum
  • Rolex
  • Baume & Mercier
  • Glashütte Original
  • Vacheron Constantin
  • Panerai
  • Maurice Lacroix
  • Roger Dubuis


  • Audemars Piguet
  • Ulysse Nardin
  • Breitling
  • Bremont
  • TAG Heuer
  • Girard Perregaux
  • IWC Schaffhausen
  • Bell & Ross
  • Omega

Although best practice for thorough testing of a website requires a combination of both automated and human testing, 25 of the 38 WCAG 2.0 A/AA checkpoints can be tested using automated testing tools which can accurately measure between 20% and 30% of a website’s accessibility. Scans such as the one performed by BoIA, are valuable in providing an initial overview for the overall accessibility of a given website.

The average, overall failure rate of the watch industry benchmark was 48%.

Special congratulations to Louis Moinet and Corum, both websites scored the best in the industry with no issues found under the Understandable and Robust principle.

Curious how your website stacks up? You can request your own free overview report and find out.

For those who are interested, specific results used in the BoIA trial are available below in no particular order:


Watch Company


Audemars Piguet

Vacheron Constantin

Patek Philippe


IWC Schaffhausen


Ulysse Nardin





Bell & Ross



TAG Heuer

Louis Moinet

A.Lange & Sohne

Baume & Mercier


Girard Perregaux

Glashütte Original


Maurice Lacroix

Roger Dubuis


Source: Bureau of Internet Accessibility

Related Information

Accessibility Website Accessibility