I’ve written before about China and her watch market but a new report called the ‘China Top Wristwatch Report’, published by the Shanghai-based Fortune Character magazine, sheds some interesting light on some of the motivations behind the massive growth of the Chinese luxury watch market.
It turns out that 'fashion' i.e. outfit matching, is the main reason, followed by collecting. Telling the time of time was the least stated reason, at a mere 5%.
The report, the first of its kind in China, and headed by Associate Professor Zhou Ting of the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, surveyed 157 ‘frequent’ luxury watch buyers in China whose annual incomes run into millions of Yuan, as well as 23 luxury watch brand executives in China.
In 2011, luxury watch imports increased 49% to 89,575, according to the China Customs Information Centre. Consumption is forecast to exceed 210,000 in 2012, of which 130,000 are imported, with Shanghai the frontrunner, at 80,000 watches imported in 20122.
Interestingly, in spite of the reputation that Chinese travellers have for purchasing luxury watches whilst holidaying overseas, 59% of those surveyed said that their watches were bought domestically.