Are Luxury Watch Brands Stuck in Time?


Ever heard of Blancpain? How about Vacheron Constantin, or Breguet?

Consider yourself very fortunate if you recognize these brands. While they are hardly household names, they are considered the top three luxury watch brands among the wealthiest U.S. consumers, according to the Luxury Brands Status Index just released by the independent Luxury Institute. Thirty-three watch brands were listed in the study.

Blancpain, the leader in the category, is a Swiss manufacturer. Brandchannel recently reported that Swiss watchmakers are seeing an uptick in 2010 sales.

Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, said that while luxury watches are a very prestigious category, “the industry is stuck in time in terms of its distribution and customer relationship building innovations.”[more]

“We predict that more luxury watch brands will build their own direct distribution channels via retail and online as they realize that the future belongs to those watch brands that have direct and deep relationships with their end consumers,” added Pedraza.

The Luxury Brands Status Index also revealed that, among 21 luxury jewelry brands, the wealthiest consumers ranked Graff, Asprey, and Buccellati as the top three.

Ultra-wealthy consumers were asked to rate luxury brands by category across four equally weighted components: Consistently Superior Quality, Uniqueness and Exclusivity, Making the Customer Feel Special Across the Entire Experience, and Being Consumed by People Who Are Admired and Respected.

The Luxury Brands Status Index is based on a survey of 505 ultra-wealthy American consumers, with weighted average household income of $845,000 and average assets of $16.6 million.