CONSUMERS

The Most Sought-After Luxury Watch Brands in China

by

Sophie Doran

|

This is the featured image caption
Credit: This is the featured image credit

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

Over the last decade, collaborations between luxury brands and contemporary artists have gone beyond mere artistic partnerships towards a new kind of luxury branding.

PARIS – Art and fashion have always developed side by side, for fashion, like art, often gives visual expression to the cultural zeitgeist. During the 1920s, Salvador Dalí created dresses for Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiapparelli. In the 1930s, Ferragamo’s shoes commissioned designs for advertisements from Futurist painter Lucio Venna, while Gianni Versace commissioned works from artists such as Alighiero Boetti and Roy Lichtenstein for the launch of his collections. Yves Saint Laurent’s vast art collection, recently auctioned at Christie’s in Paris, testified to his great love of art and revealed the influence of a variety of artists on his own designs.

In the 1980s, relationships between luxury brands and artists were advanced when Alain Dominique Perrin created the Fondation Cartier. In the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, a book marking the foundation’s 20th anniversary, Perrin says he makes “a connection between all the different sorts of arts, and luxury goods are a kind of art. Luxury goods are handicrafts of art, applied art.”

The Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemparain building in Paris

Luxury Society & Digital Luxury Group present the second search analysis conducted on luxury timepiece 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: digital-luxury.com/chinawatches. 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, [email protected]

Sophie Doran
Sophie Doran

Creative Strategist, Digital

Sophie Doran is currently Senior Creative Strategist, Digital at Karla Otto. Prior to this role, she was the Paris-based editor-in-chief of Luxury Society. Prior to joining Luxury Society, Sophie completed her MBA in Melbourne, Australia, with a focus on luxury brand dynamics and leadership, whilst simultaneously working in management roles for several luxury retailers.

CONSUMERS

The Most Sought-After Luxury Watch Brands in China

by

Sophie Doran

|

This is the featured image caption
Credit : This is the featured image credit

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

Over the last decade, collaborations between luxury brands and contemporary artists have gone beyond mere artistic partnerships towards a new kind of luxury branding.

PARIS – Art and fashion have always developed side by side, for fashion, like art, often gives visual expression to the cultural zeitgeist. During the 1920s, Salvador Dalí created dresses for Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiapparelli. In the 1930s, Ferragamo’s shoes commissioned designs for advertisements from Futurist painter Lucio Venna, while Gianni Versace commissioned works from artists such as Alighiero Boetti and Roy Lichtenstein for the launch of his collections. Yves Saint Laurent’s vast art collection, recently auctioned at Christie’s in Paris, testified to his great love of art and revealed the influence of a variety of artists on his own designs.

In the 1980s, relationships between luxury brands and artists were advanced when Alain Dominique Perrin created the Fondation Cartier. In the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, a book marking the foundation’s 20th anniversary, Perrin says he makes “a connection between all the different sorts of arts, and luxury goods are a kind of art. Luxury goods are handicrafts of art, applied art.”

The Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemparain building in Paris

Luxury Society & Digital Luxury Group present the second search analysis conducted on luxury timepiece 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: digital-luxury.com/chinawatches. 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, [email protected]

Sophie Doran
Sophie Doran

Creative Strategist, Digital

Sophie Doran is currently Senior Creative Strategist, Digital at Karla Otto. Prior to this role, she was the Paris-based editor-in-chief of Luxury Society. Prior to joining Luxury Society, Sophie completed her MBA in Melbourne, Australia, with a focus on luxury brand dynamics and leadership, whilst simultaneously working in management roles for several luxury retailers.

Related articles

CONSUMERS

In the Gloom in China’s Luxury Market, Is 520 Still Relevant?

CONSUMERS

The Anatomy of the Perfect Brand Resort Takeover

CONSUMERS

5 Must Know Facts About China’s Millennials