Total Internet searches for luxury watches jumped 39.3 percent in the first half of 2012 versus the same period a year earlier, according to the study by the Geneva-based Digital Luxury Group (DLG). Prestige watches saw the most rapid growth, with searches booming by 73 percent, it added.
“The interest continues to grow, but there are indicators that the purchase cycle has slowed,” stated Florent Bondoux, head of strategy and intelligence at DLG.
Swiss watch exports to China fell by 12.3 percent in October, while sales to Hong Kong edged up 2.7 percent, reflecting ongoing softness in those key markets, according to the latest statistics published by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.
The DLG study found that the top 10 most-searched-for brands in the first half of the year were Omega, Rolex, Longines, Cartier, Rado, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, IWC, Piaget and Chanel, in that order. Rolex pushed Longines out of the number-two spot, while Vacheron Constantin and Chanel both gained two positions.
The top 10 accounted for nearly 80 percent of all searches, indicating that smaller brands still have a tough time in China. To wit, five watch models — the Omega De Ville, Omega Constellation, Cartier Ballon Bleu, Chanel J12 and Longines Master — accounted for more than half of online interest.
Interest in luxury timepieces has spread from the major coastal cities of Shanghai and Beijing to the west of the country. “A retail presence in the coastal cities is not sufficient anymore and as a consequence, smaller brands might be penalized for not being able to develop their retail network in the middle and west region as big brands nowadays do,” the study noted.
In a separate survey published in January, DLG found that in 2011, China for the first time surpassed the U.S. as the leading market for luxury timepieces by the number of Internet searches, accounting for a quarter of all searches mentioning top watch brands.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)