China remains a hot topic these days, especially for luxury brands, including those offering Swiss luxury timepieces.
Between January to April 2013, Swiss watch exports to China experienced a significant decline of 25% to 432.5 million Swiss francs from 574.6 million Swiss francs over the same period in 2012, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH.
However, one must note that 2012 was a record year for Swiss watch exports to China. When compared to the period from January to April 2011, Swiss watch exports from January to April 2013 would appear to be more stable, as the decline was 2%.
What is noteworthy is that on a global basis, the value of Swiss exports of timepieces which cost more than 3,000 Swiss francs grew by 8% in April 2013. The value of Swiss wristwatches in gold exported also increased by almost 6%.
One key question is: where is demand coming from for the “sweeter spots” in the watch industry? Additionally, are the Chinese buying when overseas or are they purchasing locally?
Well, perhaps one place for a China forum on watches, notably those from Franck Muller, could be the brand’s duplex boutique which was opened in Shenyang, China in September 2012 at Forum 66 (pun most definitely intended).
This 144 square-metre or 1,550 square-feet boutique appears impressive indeed. Kingston Chu, vice chairman and executive director of Franck Muller Asia, highlights that this is the brand’s very first duplex boutique.
It is also here that one can enjoy the brand’s full collection including the Gold Croco automatic wristwatch launched in early 2013. Could this be one such model that is spurring the demand for timepieces in gold?