A Look At The World's Growing Appetite For Luxury Watches

Baselworld, the world’s biggest watch and jewelry show, kicks off in Switzerland tomorrow. Hundreds of major watch and jewelry brands will be on hand to show off their latest designs and innovations.

Globally, interest in luxury watches is up, with sales hitting record levels at recent trade shows. And despite a slowdown in luxury watch sales in Asia, global consumer demand for luxury watches grew by 5.7% this year, according to the latest WorldWatchReport from Digital Luxury Group.

China bucked the trend of decreased interest in Asia, with internet searches for luxury watches up nearly 60% from last year, according to the report, which analysed the performance of 60 high-end watch brands across major markets by looking at more than a billion watch-related internet search queries.

Omega, Cartier, and Rolex are particularly popular brands in China. And while sales within China have declined this year, interest has not waned, data from Chinese search engine Baidu showed. “Watches are part of the fastest growing luxury segments in China right now,” Baidu Vice President Liang Zeng told Digital Luxury Group.

Russia and India also showed increased interest in luxury watches this year, with a 20% bump and 12% bump year-over-year, respectively, according to the report.

Brazil, on the other hand, showed diminished interest in luxury watches. Related internet searches were down 2.9% in 2013, a disappointing number given that Brazil is hosting two high-profile sports events in the near future. “Despite growing international attention and key events driving important brand related investments, the market predicted to become the next big thing, fails to deliver on its promises,” Digital Luxury Group wrote of Brazil.

Globally, Rolex is the most searched-for luxury watch brand, followed by Omega and Tag Heuer.

Luxury brands Ulysse Nardin,Glashütte Original, andVacheron Constantin saw the most year-over-year growth in terms of popularity.

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