Reporting on key findings including; China surpassing the USA as the country with the highest demand for luxury watches, the lead held by Rolex quickly being challenged by Omega, consumers showing less interest for counterfeits

GENEVA, March 7, 2012 – For the 8th consecutive year, Digital Luxury Group has released the WorldWatchReport™, the leading market research report in the luxury watch industry.
After a preview release of the Haute Horlogerie section (15 brands) of the report in January, the complete 2012 edition (40 brands) is now available.

Amongst the key trends identified:

• China: The number one market for luxury watches
For the first time since the study launched in 2004, China surpassed the USA as the country exhibiting the highest demand for luxury watches, representing 23% of all watch-related searches. Gaining the most attention in China is Omega (20.2% of searches there), followed by Longines (18.9%), and Rolex (10.5%).

• Growth of global demand fueled by the East
In addition to the growth witnessed in China (+7.8 percentage points), countries such as Japan (+3.5 pp), India (+0.6 pp), and Russia (+0.5 pp) saw significant increases over last year. Most western markets remained stable or even saw market share drops, such as in the US (-9.2 pp), Germany (-1.7 pp), and Italy (-1 pp).

• A narrowing gap between Rolex and Omega
The demand for the two industry leaders shows that the gap Rolex held over Omega in the previous years is quickly closing in. This year’s study revealed the difference in demand between the two brands is by 2.3 percentage points, against 8.4 in 2009 – mainly explained by Omega gaining market share in China while Rolex reinforced its positioning in the stagnant West.

• Seamaster, Submariner and Daytona as undisputed status symbols
Among the 1,300+ individual watch models tracked by the WorldWatchReport™, the top 3 models, Omega’s Seamaster, Rolex’s Submariner and Rolex’s Daytona, continue to hold their lead. Iconic brands such as TAG Heuer and Cartier saw their highly popular collections Carrera (4th) and Tank (9th) featured in the top 10 ranking of most-searched models – placing these brands in the leagues of the heavy-hitters.

• Consumers less interested by counterfeits
Global searches related to counterfeits and replicas experienced a decrease, representing 1.85% of total luxury watch searches compared to 4.5% last year. Among the 40 brands analyzed, the demand for replica sport watches is the highest, with Rolex representing 51% of the total demand for counterfeits worldwide, followed by Breitling (9%) and TAG Heuer (5.3%).

About the WorldWatchReport™
The WorldWatchReport™ measures and benchmarks over fifty unique indicators to analyze the performance of 40 luxury watch brands across 2o international markets. The report identifies and analyzes over 1 billion watch-related search queries typed into major global search engines and translates them into the client preferences driving the industry.

It has been published since 2004 by Digital Luxury Group in partnership with Europa Star and the gracious support of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. For more information about the WorldWatchReport™, please visit http://www.worldwatchreport.com

About Digital Luxury Group
Digital Luxury Group, DLG, SA, is the first international company dedicated exclusively to the design and implementation of digital communication strategies for luxury brands. For over ten years, DLG has developed a unique expertise that it is currently implementing for its clients in Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Asia. http://www.digital-luxury.com

For more information:
Tamar Koifman, tkoifman@digital-luxury.com, +41 22 702 07 60
Florent Bondoux, fbondoux@digital-luxury.com , +41 22 702 07 60

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Published on: 6:05AM on 7th March 2012