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Swiss watches import jump 21% in India first six months of 2023

Imports touched 98.5 million Swiss francs (nearly Rs 933 crore) in the January to June period this year period from 81.2 million francs a year earlier

Luxury Swiss watches

There is a rise in demand for high-end watches of Hublot and Tag Heuer by Indian collectors

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Import of Swiss watches in India rose 21 per cent from a year earlier in the first half of this calendar year.

According to data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, a Swiss watch industry's trade association, imports touched 98.5 million Swiss francs (nearly Rs 933 crore) in the January to June period this year from 81.2 million francs a year earlier, as per a report in the Mint.

Luxury stores in India's malls witnessed a rise in the watch category. Stores such as Emporio and The Chanakya, built by property developer DLF in Delhi, saw growth rates of 80-100 per cent in the luxury watch category.

Pushpa Bector, senior executive director and head of DLF’s retail division, said that many international watch brands are witnessing major growth in India as luxury watches are considered highly giftable items.

Despite production limitations and capacity challenges, India remains a key market for luxury watchmakers.

Watch brand H. Moser & Cie., which retails in India for Rs 14 lakh-Rs 2.7 crore through Ethos, has seen significant growth across price points in the last year.

Nicholas Hofmann, director of international sales, H. Moser & Cie, said that there has been a significant shift in India’s buying patterns, with consumers preferring independent and authentic brands over more established ones.

"As a smaller brand like ours, we no longer need to invest as heavily to establish recognition in the market. Interestingly, we are outperforming some bigger established brands globally, and we are optimistic about replicating this success in the Indian market," Hofmann said.

Ashok Goel, founder of Delhi-based Luxury Time Pvt. Ltd, a distributor of brands such as Hublot, TAG Heuer, Zenith, and Bomberg, said that there is a rise in demand for high-end watches of Hublot and TAG Heuer by Indian collectors.

He added that sales of entry-level products have been harder and this could be the reason why there may be muted growth in the sector towards the end of the year.

Goel said that there was stupendous growth in the sector in 2022.

"But even now, we are certain that the luxury segment for the watch category, priced upwards of Rs 8 lakh, will continue to grow. The watches are wait-listed and have no problem in sales," he added.

The federation stated that in June, watches made from precious metals made the highest contribution by absolute value, followed by bimetallic watches. Across the world, the total volumes were over 150,000 units which were supported by the other materials category, which increased by 50.8 per cent, selling a total of 485,000 watches, according to the Mint report.

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First Published: Jul 24 2023 | 12:34 PM IST

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