Swiss watchmakers Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille are snapping up stakes in their franchised shops, seeking to tighten their grip on the sales network as a growing number of top brands ditch wholesalers.
Swiss watchmakers are starting to see signs of slowing spending from Chinese tourists, but are still banking on demand shifting to mainland China to fuel growth this year, several high-end brands said on Monday.
Swatch Group will host an event for watch retailers from March 19 to 26 next year, just ahead of the Baselworld watch fair it recently dropped out of, according to an invitation seen by Reuters on Tuesday.
Watch brands Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille will withdraw from the Geneva watch fair from 2020 to focus on selling directly to consumers rather than via third-party retailers they would meet at the show.
Mr Porter is further expanding its fine watch department with the addition of a curated selection of seven Cartier Watches. The line-up will launch on 5 April, with further launches planned for later this year.
The booming pre-owned premium watch market, powered by websites like the RealReal, has lured its first official big brand, with Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet announcing it would launch a 2nd-hand business this year.
The Swiss watch brand is showing off its latest innovation, the "RM 07-01 Gem-Set Black Ceramic" at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) luxury watch show, which opened Monday, January 15 in Geneva.
Watch inventory levels at Cartier are healthy and the brand no longer needs to carry out buybacks in order to balance out stock levels globally, Cyrille Vigneron, the head of the Richemont-owned label said on Monday.