China has surpassed the United States as the country exhibiting the highest demand for luxury watches, says a survey.
The report by WorldWatchReport, published by Digital Luxury Group Wednesday, mentioned that for the first time since 2004, China has become the number one market for luxury watches representing 23 percent of all watch-related searches.
Gaining the most attention in China is the luxury brand Omega, which accounts for 20.2 percent of searches there, followed by Longines (18.9 percent) and Rolex (10.5 percent).
The report points out that in addition to growth witnessed in China, countries like Japan, India, and Russia had seen significant increases over the last one year. However, most western markets remained stable or even saw market share drops, such as in the U.S., Germany, and Italy.
Despite the new report, high-end brands like Omega and Longines are of the notion that their deep knowledge of the markets will give them a tailwind against risks of a slowdown in China.
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I don't think we have to be alarmed because all of a sudden the Eldorado has a little bit of cloud over it, Omega chairman Stephen Urqhart told Reuters in Basel.
Another intriguing point mentioned by the report is that consumers are now less interested by counterfeits and replicas representing 1.85 percent of total luxury watch searches compared to 4.5 percent last year.
Among the 40 brands analyzed, the demand for replica sport watches is the highest, with Rolex representing 51 percent of the total demand for counterfeits worldwide, followed by Breitling (9 percent) and TAG Heuer (5.3 percent).
The WorldWatchReport analyses and compares the performance of 40 luxury watch brands across 20 international markets.