The 2013 World Watch Report shows that Fine Watches have lost none of their online appeal, as the 18 brands tracked by the report posted a 7% increase in online interest. Unsurprisingly, the BRIC countries, led by China, are the main driving forces behind this growth.
Now in its ninth year, the World Watch Report, which tracks the performance of luxury watch brands based on online searches, reveals in its 2013 edition a global rise of 7% for the 18 Fine Watch Maisons under review*. The report examines 20 markets and a billion queries. “Unsurprisingly, the emerging markets are fuelling this growth,” comments Florent Bondoux of Digital Luxury Group, the producer of the report which has the backing of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. “Virtually half of global interest stems from the four BRIC countries [Brazil Russia, India, China] and the Asian markets. Chinese internet users clearly outrank others with 31% of searches relating to Fine Watchmaking compared with 20% in 2012.” This 27% increase is matched by growth in Brazil (+30%), Russia (+43%) and even India (+18%), whereas mature markets such as the United States (-11%) and Japan (-12%) have waned. (more…)
Swiss luxury watch brand Patek Philippe launched a website dedicated to ladies. The Ladies Microsite gives a behind the scenes look at how the brand approaches the design and production of women’s watches and includes an insightful video interview with Sandrine Stern, who heads up watch creation. There’s also a special section that describes the inspiration and production of Ref. 4968, the ‘Diamond Ribbon’ watch, a unique way of setting diamonds inspired by a gymnast’s ribbon.
The new microsite has a primary focus on education with the assumption that ladies need to be educated on watchmaking. The initiative could well be a retort to fashion houses like Dior or Chanel which have been producing watches with a predominantly aesthetic criteria, but the new Patek Philippe fails if compared to other established luxury watchmakers, some of which have taken a more sophisticated approach. Omega, Longines and Audemars Piguet have long had initiatives targeting ladies watches, through exclusive events, celebrity endorsements etc.
One such recent initiative is Longines’ 20 year multi-million dollar sponsorship of Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), an agreement signed between FEI President HRH Princess Haya and Mrs Nayla Hayek, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Swatch Group, which owns Longines. The new collaboration establishes Longines’ consistent and coherent focus on equestrian, being already the official sponsor of Prix de Diane, one of the most prestigious equestrian competitions worldwide.