“U.S. sales of smartwatches are booming,” notes Hodinkee. “They rose 24% in value in the U.S. for the first half of 2019 versus the same period in 2018.” NPD estimated 2018 smartwatch sales at $5 billion. Apple, Samsung and Fitbit are leading the charge, and now are on the top five best-selling watch brands in the US. The other two: Rolex and Patek Philippe. NPD estimates that Apple, Fitbit, and Samsung accounted for 88% of smartwatch unit sales in the U.S. in 2018. “The ability to be truly connected via built-in LTE without the need to have a smartphone nearby proved to be a tipping point for consumers,” NPD’s Weston Henderek said. IDC, another research firm predicts that global smartwatch shipments will tip 91.8 million in 2019.