By Kathryn Lewis
A report released this morning by the World Luxury Index suggests that interest in luxury watches in China is growing in spite of the macroeconomic slowdown there.
An analysis of 65 international watch brands found that aggregate searches in China for every category of luxury watch from “prestige” to “haute horlogerie” has increased in the last year by 40%.
“The interest continues to grow, but there are indicators that the purchase cycle has slowed,” said Florent Bondoux, head of strategy and intelligence at the Digital Luxury Group, the publishers of the report, in a statement.
The study also found that bigger names are doing better than lesser known brands in China. Out of the 65 brands analysed, the top ten most-searched luxury watch brands (Omega, Rolex, Longines, Cartier, Rado, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, IWC, Piaget, Chanel) represent nearly 80 per cent of the search market. “The three brands that have increased the most in search volume year-over-year (Rolex, Omega, and Cartier) are also the brands that represent the biggest slice of search market share,” Bondoux said. Contrasted with a market like France, where the top ten represent 64 per cent, this is quite a difference.
The study also found that Chinese consumers are becoming more discerning when it comes to luxury watches. For the first time this year style related searches have surpassed price related searches. “This more sophisticated and educated consumer marks an opportunity for brands to better localize to the needs and desires of the Chinese audience,” said Shanghai-based Pablo Mauron, DLG China’s General Manager in a statement.
A free version of the report is available for download by clicking here.