Rado Was First Foreign Brand Advertised On Chinese Television In 1979
This week, the Swiss luxury watchmaker Rado launched its new flagship in Beijing’s Xidan shopping district with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by company execs and global spokesperson, Taiwanese actress and singer René Liu (劉若英). This is Rado’s second store in Beijing, after its Modern Plaza location in the city’s Haidian district.
Although China’s luxury watch market is an increasingly crowded place, with virtually every major watchmaker having made an intensified push into the country over the past several years, Rado enjoys enviably high recognition among Chinese consumers. Having been the first foreign brand to advertise on Chinese television in 1979, and one of the earliest watch brands to make a serious effort in the market in the 1980s, Rado is regularly listed alongside the likes of Patek Philippe and Rolex on top ten lists of China’s favorite watches.
At the opening of the new Rado flagship in Beijing, Rado China vice president Michael Wan said a sea-change has occurred in the China watch market over the past 20 years, as the spending power of younger consumers between the ages of 25-35 has surged. The influence of China’s so-called “rich second generation” (富二代), Wan added, shouldn’t be understated either, as this group is more responsive to new materials and designs than older consumers, who tend to prefer traditional, classic designs. To reach younger buyers, Wan said, Rado is currently working to latch onto social and new media in China, recently launching the first Rado Young Design Prize in Shanghai and promoting the brand on college campuses.
Also at the opening in Beijing, which heavily promoted Rado’s white ceramic “Ceramica” collection, Wan showed a keen understanding of the priority that Chinese luxury shoppers place on durability and quality (as well as light-weight watches); As Wan told attending media, his company’s ceramic watches are “as hard as a diamond but very light, so you don’t have to worry about damaging them.”