Demand for Swiss Luxury Watches Continues to Grow
GENEVA, March 26th, 2014 – For the 10th consecutive year, Digital Luxury Group releases the WorldWatchReport™, the leading market research in the luxury watch industry. After the release of the Haute Horlogerie Preview (18 brands) of the report in January at SIHH, the complete 2014 Baselworld edition (62 brands, 20 markets) is now available:
Despite a slowdown in sales in Asia, global consumer demand for luxury watches grew by +5.7%.
Global demand was fueled once again by BRIC markets with the highest year-to-year increases in China (+59.4%), Russia (+20.4%) and India (+12.0%). Historically established mature markets such as Germany (-9.2%), the United States (-7.9%), and Japan (-5.5%), experienced single digit demand decline, whilst Italy (+8.8%) and the United Kingdom (+3.1%) saw growth in interest versus 2012. Digital Luxury Group, Founder & CEO, David Sadigh comments, “Our outlook for the Swiss luxury watch industry remains strong. Consumers from around the world are more and more falling in love with fine watches, especially women. The segment currently represents the largest untapped opportunity, both in Asia and the Americas.”
The Chinese luxury market is not dead: Interest in all luxury watch categories continues to escalate, led by Omega, Cartier and Rolex.
Though sales at home may have declined, Chinese thirst for luxury watches is not showing any signs of slowdown, according to exclusive data shared for the first time by Baidu, China’s leading search engine, for Digital Luxury Group. According to Baidu Vice President, Liang Zeng, “Watches are part of the fastest growing luxury segments in China right now.”
The Brazilian market fails to deliver amid high expectations (-2.9%), ahead of an important year for luxury watch brands in the market (World Cup and Olympic Games in 2016).
Despite growing international attention and key events driving important brand related investments, the market predicted to become the next big thing, fails to deliver on its promises. Will upcoming events such as the FIFA World Cup and the summer 2016 Olympics finally help the luxury watch category take off in Brazil?
Cie. Financière Richemont SA is the fastest growing conglomerate (+13.0% in online demand).
Richemont’s Maisons’ focus on Haute Horlogerie and Watch and Jewelry brands in its portfolio benefited the group, thanks to rising interest in the categories globally (+13.2% and +13.0% respectively) but especially among Asian markets and Chinese luxury travelers.
Ladies’ watches rise in popularity (+7.5%) led by China and Swatch Group brands.
The United States accounts for over one quarter of all demand for ladies’ watches but the category is booming in China, with an increase of +145.5% versus the previous year. Brands benefiting from the highest year-to-year growth are: Omega (+88.3%), Vacheron Constantin (+66.2%) and Chopard (+18.9%). The segment however, remains dominated by far by Rolex, accounting for over one quarter of all interest (26.5%).
Mobile Revolution: Instagram is the most engaging social media platform among watch aficionados with nearly three times Facebook’s average engagement rate, while in China searches for Haute Horlogerie brands using mobile phones increased by +120%, according to exclusive data shared by Baidu.
Acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, the fastest growing social media platform in 2013 (+23% increase in active users vs. -3% for Facebook), Instagram was the most engaging social media platform among watch aficionados with nearly three times Facebook’s average engagement rate. Among the 3 million luxury watch fans, Audemars Piguet generated the highest engagement with an average of 5.7% whilst Hublot led with the highest number of fans (117K by the end of 2013). Meanwhile, in China, searches for Haute Horlogerie brands using mobile phones increased by +120% according to data shared exclusively with DLG by Baidu, China’s largest search engine.
 Not taking into account Couture category brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, which benefit from recognition from other segments and Tiffany & Co.
62 Brands Tracked
Haute Horlogerie: A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Bovet, Breguet, De Bethune, Franck Muller, Girard-Perregaux, Glashütte Original, Greubel Forsey, Jaquet Droz, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Parmigiani, Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin. Watch and Jewelry: Bulgari, Cartier, Chaumet, Chopard, Harry Winston, Jacob & Co., Piaget, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels. Couture: Chanel, Dior Watches, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren. Prestige: Breitling, Corum, Hublot, IWC, Omega, Panerai, Rolex, TAG Heuer, Zenith. High Range: Baume & Mercier, Bell & Ross, Bremont, Carl F. Bucherer, Concord, Ebel, Eberhard, Frédérique Constant, Graham, Longines, Louis Erard, Maurice Lacroix, Montblanc, Perrelet, Rado, Raymond Weil, Romain Jerome, Sinn, TechnoMarine, Tudor, Vulcain
20 Markets Analyzed
Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States
About the WorldWatchReport™
Celebrating 10 years since its first edition, the WorldWatchReport™ measures and benchmarks over fifty unique indicators to analyze the performance of 60+ luxury watch brands across 20 international markets. The report identifies and analyzes over 1 billion watch-related search queries typed into major global search engines and translates them into the client preferences driving the industry. It has been published since 2004 by Digital Luxury Group in partnership with Europa Star and the gracious support of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. For more information about the WorldWatchReport™, please visit www.worldwatchreport.com
About Digital Luxury Group
Digital Luxury Group (DLG) is the digital partner of forward-thinking luxury brands.
With offices in Geneva, New York and Shanghai, DLG combines leading brand intelligence with bespoke digital marketing services. From creation to implementation, we empower brand strategies with our proprietary data and research. For more information: www.digital-luxury.com