“Watch-Mad” Chinese Shoppers Buoy Sales In Europe, Hong Kong, North America
Reflecting the growing importance of the Greater China market for Switzerland’s top watchmakers, this October the influential Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) will make its debut in Shanghai. Jointly presented with Belles Montres for the first time, the China leg of the GPHG will be organized by Worldtempus.cn, the Edipresse-published official website of the Swiss watch industry.
Running from October 27 to 30, the Shanghai portion of the GPHG will be held at the city’s Exhibition Center. Part of a global tour in preparation for the final awards ceremony in Geneva this November, the top 70 shortlisted timepieces will go show in cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong, Zurich, Paris and Singapore.
As Jing Daily has previously noted, the increasing importance of the China market for major Swiss watchmakers is clearly visible in the ever increasing number of limited-edition lines and China-focused designs they’re creating to tap growing consumer spending power. Last year, Asian (mostly Chinese) buyers accounted for more than half of global watch sales, with the growth rate of watch sales in Asia increasing 34.6 percent in 2010, compared to 14.5 percent in the US and 10.4 percent in Europe. With these figures in mind, it’s not surprising the GPHG will make its China debut this year.