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WORLDWATCHWEB™ - Demand for SWISS LUXURY WATCHES continues to grow

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March 2014


1. Despite a slowdown in sales in Asia, global consumer demand for luxury watches grew by +5.7%.

2. The Chinese luxury market is not dead: Interest in all luxury watch categories continues to escalate, led by Omega, Cartier and Rolex.

3. 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).

4. Cie. Financière Richemont SA is the fastest growing conglomerate (+13.08% in online demand).

5. Ladies’ watches rise in popularity (+7.5%) led by China and Swatch Group brands.

6. 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.

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.

Global consumer interest for luxury watches grew +5.7%
Global consumer interest for luxury watches grew +5.7%
All calculations are based on the 62 brands featured in the report – Date range for all data is Jan-Dec. 2013 and Jan-Dec. 2012 for Y/Y evolutions

Despite a slowdown in sales in Asia, global consumer demand for luxury watches grew by +5.7%. Global demand was fuelled 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%), experience single digit demand decline, whilst Italy (+8.8%) and the United Kingdom (+3.1%) see growth in interest versus 2012.

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.

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 (+11.2% in online demand). Richemont’s Maisons’ focus on Haute Horlogerie and Watch and Jewellery 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 travellers.

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.

Instagram thoroughly defeats Facebook in engagement rate - Below: Instagram Volume of Fans
Instagram thoroughly defeats Facebook in engagement rate - Below: Instagram Volume of Fans
Instagram thoroughly defeated Facebook with nearly 3 times the average engagement rate. n Brands regrouped nearly 3.4 million fans on Instagram. Audemars Piguet leads far ahead engagement rate with 5.7% (excl. Couture category brands and Tiffany & Co.).

Acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, the fastest growing social media platform in 2013 (+23% increase in active users vs. -3% for Facebook1), 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 (not taking into account Couture category brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, which benefit from recognition from other segments and Tiffany & Co.), 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.

*GlobalWeb Index report, January 2014

 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, Van Cleef & Arpels
Couture: Chanel, Dior, 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 & Co., 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

Source: Europa Star April - May 2014 Magazine Issue