The Global Consumer’s Interest for Haute Horlogerie Increases by 7%, Fueled by BRIC and Asian Markets

The Global Consumer’s Interest for Haute Horlogerie Increases by 7%, Fueled by BRIC and Asian Markets

Every year at the occasion of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), Digital Luxury Group unveils the results of the Haute Horlogerie category (18 brands) of the WorldWatchReport™, the leading market research in the luxury watch industry published in partnership with Europa Star, and the gracious support of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie.

The full edition of the report, which this year will cover 60+ brands in 20 markets worldwide, will be available in April at the time of Baselworld.

Amongst the key Haute Horlogerie trends identified:

1.      Interest for Haute Horlogerie brands continues to grow (+ 7% year-over-year)

Compared to the previous year, the highest-end category of luxury watches, Haute Horlogerie, experienced a 7% increase in brand interest.  “This marks the third year in a row that the online interest of this highest-end segment of luxury watches has increased, showing the continued strength of haute horlogerie within the overall market,” indicates Florent Bondoux, Head of Strategy & Intelligence.

2.      BRIC + Asian markets represent nearly 50% of Haute Horlogerie global brand interest

Of the 20 markets analyzed in the study, nearly half (47%) of global interest for Haute Horlogerie stems from in-the-spotlight markets Brazil, Russia, India, China, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.  Mainland China on its own compromises 27% of the global demand or twice as much as the US market, increasing by 31%


3.      Consumer interest for Haute Horlogerie in mature markets, US and Japan, declining

A downward trend was observed in the weight that mature luxury watch markets the US (down by 10.6%) and Japan (down by 11.7%) represent in the global breakdown.

While relative share of demand has progressively shrank in the past 3 years in most established markets, for the first time since the report’s launch in 2004, an absolute decline in domestic demand in the US and Japan is observed.

“2012 has been a year of stabilization in the U.S.  Affluents have been focused on the Presidential campaign and the tax hikes surrounding the fiscal cliff. Tourist shopping, notably from Latin America, should offset domestic demand slowdowns and represent a major growth driver in the region,” explains David Sadigh, Founder & CEO.

4.      Patek Philippe leading by far the Haute Horlogerie segment

Patek Philippe remains and by far the leading Haute Horlogerie watch brand with 23.6% of brand interest share. Jaeger-LeCoultre takes the second spot with 12.7%, closely followed by Vacheron Constantin at 12.6%, Audemars Piguet at 9.2%% and Breguet at 7.7%.

Along with Richard Mille (see below), Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe also record the highest growth rates in brand interest year-over-year, with 26% and 10.2% growth, respectively.

5.      Richard Mille is the fastest growing Haute Horlogerie brand

Founded in 2001, the brand Richard Mille is the fastest growing haute horlogerie brand (+61% over last year), followed by Vacheron Constantin (+26%), and Patek Philippe (+10.2%).  “Assuming Richard Mille manages to keep its momentum and growth rate, the company could easily become one of the top 5 Haute Horlogerie brands by 2020,” predicts Bondoux. “This is a brand with a strong breadth of exclusive products and an equally strong PR-driven marketing approach focused on events and celebrity endorsements.  Richard Mille is a brand to watch.”

6.      Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak reinforces its leadership as the top watch model among Haute Horlogerie brands globally

The Royal Oak, reinforcing its leading position of last year, continues its reign as the most sought-after Haute Horlogerie watch model, increasing its online interest by 5% over the last year, likely an effect of the increased communications surrounding the icon’s 40th anniversary. Though the Royal Oak leads globally, local preferences arise for other models in markets such as Japan (Girard-Perregaux’s 1945), China (Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas), and Russia (Blancpain’s Leman).


Haute Horlogerie brands tracked in this preview report: A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Bovet, Breguet, De Bethune, Frank Muller, Girard-Perregaux, Glashütte Original, Greubel Forsey, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Jaquet Droz, Parmigiani, Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin.  (Other brands exhibiting at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie such as Cartier, IWC, Panerai, and Piaget, have not been analyzed in this year’s preview research after a revised brand segmentation, the results of which will be released in April at the time of Baselworld)

Markets analyzed: Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and The United States


About the 2013 WorldWatchReport™

The 2013 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.