The Straits Times
Published on Nov 11, 2012

Swiss watches tick to Chinese heartbeat


GENEVA (AFP) - With the Chinese increasingly coveting European luxury goods, Swiss watchmakers are eyeing a huge new market for their wares, but disagree on the best way of capturing it.

The question being mulled by famous Swiss watch brands is whether to create more specialty editions aimed at appealing specifically to the Chinese or simply wait for fast-shifting Chinese tastes to adapt to European fashion.

At a Hublot workshop in Nyon, a small town set on the shores of Lake Geneva between Geneva and Lausanne, workers huddle around an extra slim watch conceived specially for the Chinese market.

As they carefully place the dainty hands on the titanium face, Hublot spokesman Anais Treand insists that the watch, priced at 14,300 Swiss francs (S$18,850), will be a hit in China since it is "light and delicate".