穷玩车, 富玩表 Five Swiss Watch Brands Spurring Export Growth in China & HK

Jewelry
27/02/2018 15:47

Swiss watch exports saw their strongest growth in more than five years during 2017, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. with Hong Kong and mainland China representing the top two markets for Swiss watches. This trend continued to start off 2018, as January sales in Hong Kong rose 21.3 percent to grab a 15 percent of the market, while sales in mainland China surged by 44.3 percent to reach 10.9 percent of the market, overtaking the US. 

According to Bloomberg, the 2012 crackdown on corruption that badly impacted the luxury watch market in China appears to have either played out or lost its teeth, writes Huixin Deng for Jing Daily. Meanwhile, efforts by the Chinese government to bring luxury spending back to mainland China seem to be working. Independent of external factors, Swiss luxury watches remain hugely popular in China. A colloquialism illuminates how important they are to signaling success among Chinese elites. The phrase “穷玩车, 富玩表” literally translates as “the poor play with luxury cars while the rich play with luxury watches.” Deng identifies the five most popular Swiss luxury watch brands in China as: 

  • Longines (浪琴), currently owned by the Swatch Group, the company is aggressively promoting its products in China and has hired celebrities, such as Aaron Kwok (郭富城), Lin Chi-ling (林志玲), Carina Lau (刘嘉玲), and Eddie Peng (彭于晏) as brand ambassadors.
  • Patek Philippe (百达斐丽), a brand relatively new to many Chinese consumers. The brand opened its first China flagship on Shanghai’s Bund in 2005 with what now seems like rather dated panda-diplomacy. They created a special edition Panda Table Clock using traditional Chinese enamel-work.
  • Omega (欧米茄), famous for its accuracy, has also worked closely with Chinese celebrities to market its watches. In recent years, Omega has hired Zhang Ziyi (章子怡), Liu Shishi (刘诗诗), and Coco Lee (李玟) as its Chinese ambassadors.
  • Piaget (伯爵), which is very popular in China, with more than 30 stores around the country. Last year, in honor of the Lunar New Year, Piaget launched a zodiac-themed, special edition of luxury watches to cater to Chinese customers.
  • Rolex (劳力士), arguably the most well-known luxury watch brand in China, its golden crown logo symbolizes status and power. The brand has chosen top Chinese musicians Lang Lang (朗朗), Li Yundi (李云迪) and Yujia Wang (王羽佳) as its brand ambassadors.