Watches & Wonders: Swiss Watchmakers Edge Closer To Key Market

by swisscham in Business

Held at the Hong Kong Exhibition Centre, the first Watches & Wonders Exhibition, organized by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, kicked off on September 25 and ran until September 28. Featuring 13 of the Richemont Group’s biggest brands, the event aimed to bring the heritage and tradition of fine Swiss watchmaking to some of their most eager and discerning clients. Asia is currently the number one market for Swiss watches, with a growing number of buyers making their purchases abroad. In 2012, exports to China from the Swiss watch industry totaled CHF 1.6 billion, while exports to Hong Kong were CHF 4.1 billion. However, of late there has been a slowdown in sales, with drops of 4.7% and 3.2% in China and Hong Kong respectively. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Industry Report for 2013, this can be attributed to the Chinese government’s anti-extravagance campaign and clampdown on luxury goods as gifts for officials. Coupled with the global economic slowdown and the high cost of luxury products in China compared to buying them overseas, the importance of the success of Watches & Wonders was especially imperative this year.

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