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Luxury watch industry may have good time ahead

Good times are predicted for the luxury watch industry of the country, especially in Punjab, with the consumers going for luxury watches unmindful of their prices...

fashion and trends Updated: Jan 15, 2009 21:17 IST

Good times are predicted for the luxury watch industry of the country, especially in Punjab, with the consumers going for luxury watches unmindful of their prices.

If some industry experts are to be believed, the country’s multi-million dollar luxury watch market holds a huge potential. And this is the best time to enter the watch market.

There were times when the Indian watch industry was dominated by HMT and Allwyn brands. Today, it is open to all.

Luxury watches of national and international brands have created a new market for Punjab, the state with the highest per capita income in the country. The high demand has initiated new luxury watches coming into the mankind.

Classified in terms of range of luxury – the basic range starts with 200 to 2000 dollars. The super-luxury watches cost 2,000 to 20,000 dollars, whereas the prestige section may set you back by over 200,000 dollars.

Navneet Saxena of Chandigarh has a fetish for high-end luxury watches. This engineer by profession gifted himself an exclusive Omega watch on his 40th birthday. He believes his passion for luxury watches makes him stand out in the crowd.

“I had it customized, which nearly took me three months. I wanted it certainly different from what others are wearing – to be a little more exclusive. So, I got my name and date done on my watch and these people took it nearly 3 months. It was a very delicate process and fortunately I was a part of it. They did call me over a couple of times to see and approve. I celebrate life with my watch,” said Navneet.

“For every product the cost is one thing, what is more important is the value. So what''s the perceived value, what does a customer see in it? You may feel a watch is expensive or not expensive, a car is expensive or not expensive. The real test is our people will pay money to buy those things. And the answer is that they are,” said Yashovardhan Saboo, the Chief Executive Officer of ETHOS.

Things might be slowing down in the West, but the watchmakers in the subcontinent are making a beeline to take a bite of India''s luxury and super-luxury segment.

India''s watch market is currently pegged at 500 million dollars of which luxury watches take about 150 million dollars.

From being a mere testing ground to a more lucrative market, India has laid out the red carpet for majors like LVMH, A Lange & Sohne and Jaegerle Coultre.

“The way India has been exposed to the world, be in IT or telecom sector so all these things made them the numbers which are growing in India. They are the potential buyers, so they are investing right now. They may not be making money at present but all these companies were very well aware when they entered into a new market. First three to five years was a time they spent into it to build a market and their revenue started coming and that''s what they are doing in India. This was the right time when they came to India,” said Sandeep Kapoor, the Director of Kapoor Watch Co.Pvt. Ltd.

The picture may look rosy but the recessionary trends will have an impact on the growth of the luxury watch segment as well. But the industry is bullish for the present picking up strong cues.