CEOs attending this week’s SIHH have expressed growing optimism that the upturn in sales that began in 2017 will gather momentum this year.
Guillaume de Seynes, director and head of watches at Hermès, says that the Chinese are rekindling their passion for luxury. “Chinese tourists are travelling more and showing an interest in Swiss luxury goods, so we hope 2018 will confirm that trend,” he said in a film shot by SIHH.
“We are probably going to get stronger in 2018 in markets like North America and Greater China,” predicts Patrick Pruniaux, who took over as CEO of Ulysse Nardin in the summer of 2017.”
Roger Dubuis is also enjoying an upturn in China, according to CEO Jean-Marc Pontroue. “China has been growing for the past three years, and we are seeing a growing number of Chinese tourists heading back to Hong Kong, back to Macau,” he explains.
Mr Pruniaux believes that the watch industry is learning how to be more focused on what a new breed of customer wants. “There is a much better focus on the end consumer, where before there was more focus on the latest innovation,” he suggests, adding that the way younger customers, the millennials, behave is having an influence on the whole market.