back to the list send to a friend print



- 17 Dec 2012

The Most Sought-After Luxury Watch Brands in China


Luxury Society & Digital Luxury Group present the second search analysis conducted on luxury timepiece brands in China

The Chinese watch and jewellery industry is worth $4 billion alone, according to the Financial Times. China’s overseas buyers spend around €11,000 on each shopping trip to places like Europe, Singapore, and Hong Kong (WSJ). As a result, pre-purchase research is conducted online in China long prior to travel.

With this in mind, Digital Luxury Group and Luxury Society are proud to announce the launch of the World Luxury Index™ China: Watches, in partnership with Europa Star.

The ranking and analysis of the most sought-after luxury timepiece brands in China is based on the unbiased search inputs coming from Google and Baidu, and examines 1500+ watch models, through 14 search intentions.

 A near 40% increase in searches shows that the interest for luxury watches in China remains strong despite a macroeconomic slowdown 

When comparing our findings from H12011 to H12012, a near 40% increase in searches shows that the interest for luxury watches in China remains strong despite a macroeconomic slowdown, and concerns surrounding gifting in a government crackdown on corruption.

The level of interest in Prestige category watches is booming, whilst others show growth but at a more conservative level. Interest in Prestige brands – Breitling, Hublot, Omega, Panerai, Rolex and TAG Heuer – increased by over 70%.


© Digital Luxury Group

Interest Spreads Geographically

After enjoying years of success in the major coastal cities of Shanghai, Beijing, etc., the big watch brands are making a play in inland China, where the economy is booming and luxury consumption is waking up.

Interest from the west is confirmed, as the region showing the fastest growth in searches for luxury watches. A typical first‑time luxury watch purchase is of a locally well-­established brand, thus benefiting the biggest players with large local budgets.

A retail presence in the coastal cities is not sufficient anymore and as a consequence, smaller brands might be penalised for not being able to develop their retail network in the middle and west region as big brands nowadays do.


© Digital Luxury Group

Style Over Price

Style-related searches jump over price as the biggest search motivation this year. The boom in style-related searches can be attributed to:

- A more specific interest for watch styles is expressed once consumers have accumulated sufficient awareness of brands.
- Gift purchase patterns influence search motivations toward more generic and style-oriented information.
- A lack of localised watch model names, which leads to styles being searched as a substitute.


© Digital Luxury Group

Localisation is Key

Promoting watch models and educating consumers in a locally relevant way is needed in order to build up a true relationship with the Chinese market.

Omega’s De Ville model has achieved enormous success in China. Its delicately translated Chinese name might also have been one important contributor.

The Chinese translation of De Ville, with pronunciation close to the original one means ‘Flying Butterfly’ in Chinese, is an easy-to-remember, yet extremely elegant name for the local audience.

Adapting the product offering or packaging, by understanding local preferences is a must. “Couples watches” or “lovers watches,” are a popular gift option for wedding, anniversaries, or Valentine’s Day. This includes a set of two matching watches, a His & Hers.

The World Luxury Index is an on-going international ranking and analysis of the most searched-for brands within the luxury industry, covering over 400 brands within six key segments, launched in partnership between Digital Luxury Group & Luxury Society. Please see previous editions below:

- The Most Searched For American Fashion Brands in the World

- The Most Searched For Luxury Hotel Brands in China
- The Most Searched For Handbag Brands in the World

The full report is available to download from: More detailed data and analysis on a particular segment or brand is available upon request.

For any further enquiries regarding the index or research, please contact Eric Roditi of Digital Luxury Group,

  • Luxury Society Joins Digital Luxury Group

    The new combined organisation will provide luxury brands with unique industry intelligence, digital agency services, up-to-the-minute news and high quality BtoB events


Digital Luxury Group is the first international company dedicated exclusively to the design and implementation of digital communication strategies for luxury brands, with offices in New York, Geneva and Shanghai.

Luxury Society is the world’s most influential online community of top luxury executives. Based in Paris, with members in more than 150 countries, Luxury Society informs & connects CEOs, managers, journalists, consultants, designers and analysts from across the luxury industry.

Members opinion

  • Avery Booker Weibo’s Decline Demands Digital Rethink for Luxury Brands in C... by Avery Booker 18 Apr 2014
  • Melissa Rae Wusaty Rethinking Luxury's Democratic Dilemma by Melissa Rae Wusaty 2 Feb 2014
  • Douglas Gollan Could 'Luxury for Less' Threaten Market Share for 'True' Luxury? by Douglas Gollan 16 Jan 2014
  • Sophie Maxwell The New Luxury Muse: The Diverse & The Inspirational by Sophie Maxwell 8 Jan 2014

Recently published

  • Roberto Cavalli in advanced talks to sell majority stake to Permira

    CPP Luxury - 18 Apr 2014 01:06
  • Net-a-porter Eyeing Activewear

    WWD - 17 Apr 2014 21:02
  • Wealthy investors flock to fine art funds

    KSPR - 17 Apr 2014 19:12
  • Wealth Effect Failing to Move Wealthy to Spend

    Bloomberg - 17 Apr 2014 16:58
  • Nigeria, Africa's Fastest Growing Aviation Business

    THISDAY Live - 17 Apr 2014 16:17
  • Edoardo Officioso Edoardo Officioso

    General Manager, Capri Tiberio Palace

  • Charles Soriano Charles Soriano

    Vice President, Ralph Lauren
    Hong Kong

  • Robert Reich Robert Reich

    Senior VIce President/Investments, WELLS FARGO PRIVATE CLIENT SERVICES
    United States

  • Leonard Lasry Leonard Lasry

    Co-Owner & Director, THIERRY LASRY