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Watches & Jewellery November 2013


Over the past ten years, the attitude of Chinese consumers to watches has changed greatly from simply “owning a watch” to begin to learn, appreciate and develop their own unique tastes and stories. This expansion of knowledge and experiences of complicated timepieces has therefore enhanced the requirements for local product service.

Kang Weikai, chief editor of the watch section of the famous bi-weekly Shopping Guide newspaper observed that, ‘ There are no experienced high-end watch repair experts in China, most maintenance carried out domestically involves changing a strap or polishing the glass and case. For any complex watch or any form of difficult problem, the watch must be sent to Hong Kong or back to the manufacturer. ‘

Patek Philippe is at the vanguard of watch repairing in China. With a 50% increase in demand from its customers for a comprehensive maintenance service, the brand hopes through a system to recruit and train local watchmaking staff to provide the most professional services for its customers from all over the country.

Eight trainees have been selected to work in the training centre in Shanghai, which is currently the only established Patek Philippe Training Centre outside the headquarters in Geneva. 3,500 hours of basic professional courses will be taught by professional trainers from Switzerland, and will last for two years in total.

Beside Patek Philippe, Swatch is the only other brand that has established a watchmaker training school in China. In 1999, Swatch Group invested in and cooperated with Shanghai University and The Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program to establish the Nicolas G. Hayek Watchmaking training School.


The lack of local talent appears to not only affect watchmaking, but also jewellery. According to the China Jewelry Management Centre, the latest statistics shows in 2012 China’s jewellery consumption value reached 300 billion RMB a per capita consumption of 200 RMB, and an increase of 15%.

As living standards have improved, and consumers’ tastes have changed, the attitude to jewellery consumption has moved from buying pure gold to greater investment in jewellery. One result of a changing trend in the need for qualified and approved personal jewellery value assessment services.

‘In the past, all most all assessments were required by business organisations, such as financing, mortgage, insurance and other areas, to affirm asset value. But now things have changed and some consumers want to assess their own jewellery value.’ According to Cheng Hua, the Director of the Research Department of the Jewelry and Art Assessment Committee of the China Property Valuation Association. ‘Although this industry shows great potential expansion, the reality is that only two professional jewellery and jade assessment companies are authorized by the government, and the number of registered jewellery appraisers is less than one hundred for the whole country’.

The issue of service in China has begun to move towards the top of the agenda for luxury consumers and as a result, luxury brands. In the past, consumers spent little time worry in about any more than just buying product, but since the slowing of the economy, they are justifying their purchases to themselves in more detail. Watch and jewellery brands have been fortunate in the past that they were able to make sales with a limited pre and post sale service function, but now they need to catch up. If they are able to service consumers better, perhaps they will lose less business to their colleagues overseas as purchasers consider local service a reason to pay a premium, however our view is that price will always be the highest priority in the consumers eyes.


Store opening and activities


11th October, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève debut in Beijing, 70 top watches on display in the show.

Nov, the fourth Panerai store opened in the iamp mall in Shanghai.

1st Nov, The Omega Hangzhou flagship store opened.

13th Nov, Wang Shi, the CEO of China Vanke Co.(the largest residential real estate developer in China), became the first Chinese brand ambassador of Breitling.

14th Nov, a new Chopard Boutique opened in Shanghai’s Xintiandi.


21th Oct, Salon Précieux debut in Beijing

26th Oct, Treasures Hangzhou – Eastern China’s glittering jewellery event opened

31th Oct, China (Beijing) International Jewellery Show

15th Nov, 4th China (Hefei) International Gold, Jewellery & Gem exhibition

15th Nov, The 2nd Qingdao International Exhibition for Luxury Jewellery

21th Nov, 2013 Yunnan·Kunming International Jewellery Exhibition


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