Predictable Brands Like Patek Philippe, Rolex, Omega Joined By Rado, Tissot and Blancpain
As Jing Daily regularly points out, luxury watches are among the most lusted-after objects in the Chinese market, where they hold a particular sway over conspicuous consumption-obsessed buyers. China Daily, writing on the craze for Swiss watches that hasn’t diminished in China for the last 30 years, suggests, “ask any middle-class Chinese what would be his or her first luxury purchase and the answer will most likely be a Swiss watch.” Apparently a large number of these people aren’t just dreaming of buying a high-end watch, they’re actually doing it — even if they’re cutting back on basic necessities to save up for it. Last year, despite a 23% global drop in Swiss luxury watch sales, buyers in China accounted for a fifth of Swiss watch sales, and even that number is probably low considering the number of shoppers who purchased multiple watches on trips to Hong Kong or Europe.
Clearly Chinese consumers — along with their Middle Eastern counterparts — are a key market for the luxury watch industry, but looking at their specific “likes,” we can see what it is about these watch brands that appeals on a basic level to Chinese luxury lovers, whether they can afford them or not. This week, QQ Luxury posted a top 10 list of the watch brands most lusted-after by Chinese. Unsurprisingly, top brands like Patek Philippe and Omega feature high on the list, but as always there are a few interesting additions, such as Rado, which — incidentally — boasts the distinction of being the first foreign brand advertised on Chinese television in the late 1970s.
1.) Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe officially entered the China market in 2005, and over the past five years sales have been very good.
Last year, Rolex held the “Crown Eternal” exhibition in Beijing, widely considered the first comprehensive event to illustrate the brand’s long history. Prior to this event, Rolex used so-called “mysterious marketing.”
If you ask someone which brands developed the fastest over the past 10 years, Omega would undoubtedly be among them. Omega has a long history in China, going back to the late 1800s when it was involved in the start-up of the Chinese rail system.
4.) Blancpain (previously on Jing Daily)
In October 2008, Blancpain became the only modern Swiss watchmaker to be included in the Forbidden City’s Watch Museum in Beijing…This year, Blancpain was one of four watch brands to enter the Swatch Peace Hotel Art Center, along with Breguet, Omega and Swatch.
Longines is well-known in China partly because of its selection of celebrity spokespeople like Lin Chi-ling and Aaron Kwok.
You can find Tissot shops throughout China, whether you’re in Lhasa in Tibet or Kelamayi in Xinjiang. Celebrities like Barbie Hsu, Huang Xiaoming and Zhong Man have given their full endorsement to the brand.