I just recently spoke with a big watch collector, who told me he had an opportunity to eat dinner with the president of A. Lange & Sohne a couple weeks ago. The high-end German watch brand flies somewhat under the radar, even though they make some of the nicest watches in the world.
I found it really interesting when he told me that the president said the brand could sell every watch they manufacture solely in China; Lange makes approximately 5,000 watches a year.
I have been told many times over that Asia is currently positioned at the center of the watch world. Richemont, the luxury goods company A. Lange & Sohne is a part of, has reported a 51% increase in sales in the Asia-Pacific region, including China, from 2009 to 2010 for the five-month period ending on August 31. Richemont sales in Japan have increased by 22 percent during the same time span.
Breitling is a brand that I find to be more appealing to the European and American markets with their larger and sportier pieces. Dressy and complicated timepieces have historically been more in line with the likes of the Asian watch market.
That being said, there definitely is a Breitling presence in Asia. The Japanese Breitling website, www.breitling.co.jp, is one of the coolest Breitling sites I have seen. The “fitting” portion of the site, allowing you to configure any Breitling model with whatever dial color and strap/bracelet combination you like, is awesome!
I cannot help but wonder if Breitling will continue to grow in the Asian markets along with the rest of the industry. I believe that it can, especially with the new pieces Breitling is releasing. I know Breitling does not do as much advertising in Asia as they do in other parts of the world, but I think that it could pay off if they did. Do you agree?
I think the emergence of the B01 movement has brought Breitling to a whole new level. I see no reason why the brand cannot have success all across the globe.