With Golden Week’s shopping frenzy in full swing, Swiss watch companies are hoping that high numbers this week will help to lift the current slump in exports to China. In order to get a better grasp of what China’s wealthy watch buyers are looking for when they shop for high-end pieces, Chinese luxury site Hexun has compiled a list of the main factors they consider. Due to the influence of local expertise and cultural considerations, some of the items on the list are particularly China-specific. Read more to see Hexun’s criteria:
According to the article, every little detail counts when it comes to Chinese watch buyers, and they wish that the piece will stay perfect for as long as possible. When selecting a watch, Chinese customers scrutinize for issues such as precision in timekeeping and good design and craftsmanship, as well as tiny details such as “accurately centered calendar digits, whether or not the alligator-skin band has been damaged by the store’s spotlight, whether or not the screws have left behind tiny scratches, and more.”
When it comes to luxury watches, if the price has a significant discount, consumers may worry there is something wrong with it. Many luxury watch buyers have the attitude that “the lowest price doesn’t mean it’s simply the cheapest,” meaning that a markdown may make them believe that there’s some reason the watch isn’t desirable.
The “Top 10” Brands
Famous Hong Kong watch expert Zhong Yonglin (钟泳麟) issued a “top 10 list” of the best watch brands in 1999, and that list is still regarded today as canon by many watch aficionados in China. Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and Audemars Piguet are the top three on the list, giving them a major advantage in China’s luxury watch market as long as Zhong’s list remains respected.
“Among watch consumers, Chinese people are especially partial to the thin watches,” says the article, because many believe thin watches match best with Western-style business suits. However, it warns readers that slim watches should not be worn playing golf, in the sauna, swimming, or out in the sun too long or else they will become damaged.
Consumers who want to be seen as connoisseurs like to show off their technical knowledge of a watch’s production, says the article. Because Switzerland is known for its expert timepiece production, watch companies often like to advertise “the handwork of a master Swiss watchmaker”. However, it states that watches billed as completely Swiss-made still import parts such as screws and springs from other countries, meaning that consideration of accuracy and artistry should still take precedence.