China has overtaken the US in the list of countries with the highest demand for luxury timepieces, the latest WorldWatchReport has found.
Conducted for the eighth consecutive year by Digital Luxury Group, the market research firm, the WorldWatchReport analyses over a billion watch-related searches done online and translates them into the client preferences driving the industry.
In the 2012 edition, the report found that China is now the number one market for luxury watches, surpassing the US with 23 per cent of all watch-related searches. Brands gaining the most attention in China are Omega, 20.2 per cent of searches, Longines, 18.9 per cent, and Rolex, 10.5 per cent.
Growth of global demand is fuelled by the East, the study said, with Chinese demand rising 7.8 percentage points from 2011. Similarly, Japanese demand grew 3.5 percentage points, India 0.6 percentage points and Russia 0.5 percentage points.
Most Western markets remained the same or even saw declines in market share, attributed mostly to the continuing debt crisis in Europe which accounts for around 35 per cent of global luxury goods sales. The US dropped 9.2 percentage points, Germany declined 1.7 percentage points and Italy fell 1 percentage point.
The WorldWatchReport measures and benchmarks over 50 indicators to analyse the performance of 40 luxury watch brands across 20 international markets. It has been published annually since 2004 in partnership with Europa Star and Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie.