Lim goes on to say that trends and tastes in specific Asian markets are quite markedly different: South Asians prefer more ostentatious http://www.dmincwv.com/ watches and jewellery compared to more classic designs favoured in China. European manufacturers would do well to cater to wider tastes rather than tailor their products to the trends in the biggest market, he adds.
This year, the doyens of the watch industry, including Asian favourites Jaeger LeCoultre, Piaget and Audemars Piguet, released highly complicated and incredibly expensive watches that were more akin to pieces of art than decorative accessories.Among the highlights was the Piaget Limeline Tonneau XL, a white-gold cased replica chanel j12 watch that contained 642 dazzling diamonds and a veritable snip at HK$3 million. Another standout gem was the Chopard Imperiale Full Set, a 40mm men's watch that has a dial, bezel, case and crown paved with diamonds, yours for the princely sum of HK$1.35 million.
The trend for jewellery watches in Asia is on the rise as the consumer base expands beyond just high net-worth individuals looking to show off their wealth. "More and more jewellers are getting interested," says Karlo Burgmayer, chief executive of Chronoswiss, who sees jewellery watches vying with jewellery for the hearts, minds and wallets of Asian consumers.Among the stellar releases at this year's show was the HK$2 million Zenith Christophe Colomb men's watch with domed glass to house a complex gyroscopic tourbillon.
Will the current trend for jewellery watches last? Raymond Lim, deputy chief executive of Cortina Watch, seems confident of the prospects of jewellery watches in South Asia, at least with larger timepieces still holding sway for a few more years.Burgmayer isn't so sure; he sees the tastes of the Chinese consumer dictating trends in Swiss watches in the future. "Chinese buyers prefer classical watches. Easy to read dials, easy to wear and automatic watches over mechanical," he says. It's a point that becomes even more stark when one considers that the Chinese market for Swiss watches has grown 136 per cent since 2009, making it the country's fastest growing market.
Whether jewellery watches are a fad or a trend fast establishing itself, what's unmistakable is that the seemingly ever-expanding market for Swiss watches in Asia will provide plenty of room for all the trends in luxury watchmaking.Caption: One of the stars of the Jewellery Time 2011 show in Singapore last month was the La Rose Blanche timepiece from the Jaeger-LeCoultre Haute Joaillerie line (above) which is set with 1,210 gemstones - 900 diamonds and 310 sapphires.