Luxury Watches Post Good Results in 2005

The year 2006 should be a good one for luxury watches if 2005 is any measure, according to reports of many luxury watch brands and suppliers. Here are a few:

  • In the first half of 2005, the French Hermès Group saw watchmaking sales rise 7 percent. The company, which has its own watchmaking facility in Biel, Switzerland, produced 122,000 watches in 2004, accounting for 9 percent of the group’s total business activity.

  • During the first half of 2005, luxury watchmaker Frédérique Constant saw sales rise 29 percent over 2004 figures. Business was strong in Russia, North America, and Asia, it said, and there was an upward trend in Western Europe. The company has a new brand ambassador, Miranda Slabber—Miss Holland 2005.

  • The Richemont Group’s watch companies (A. Lange & Söhne, Baume & Mercier, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, Piaget, and VacheronConstantin) did well between April and August, with sales rising 23 percent, said chairman Johann Rupert in September. Its jewelers Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, which also make watches, and its companies specializing in writing instruments (Montblanc and Montegrappa) had increases of 13 percent. Its leather goods and accessories specialists, Dunhill and Lancel, which also make watches, saw growth of 6 percent.

  • LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) said its watches and jewelry division enjoyed excellent performance during 2005’s first nine months and continued to gain market share. TAG Heuer and Zenith saw rapid development in the United States and Asia, aided by recent launches of TAG’s Carrera and Professional Golf Watch and Zenith’s Starissime tourbillon. Dior’s Christal watch, with a number of technical innovations, also had exceptional success, said the company.

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