Korean luxury watch sales defy market

Even through this period of slow economic growth, Korean luxury watch sales are strengthening.

According to Shinsegae Department Store, sales of luxury watches worth millions have increased over the past two years.

In the 23 months to November 2015, sales of high-end watches increased by five per cent compared to the same months in previous years. Shinsegae officials added that luxury watches were the only product showing continuous sales growth among all the items sold at the department store.

Before, luxury watches were thought of as typical wedding gifts. However, as more Koreans now see luxury watches as a sign of social status, individuals from all age groups are purchasing them.

In the past, most sales were concentrated during the wedding season (February, March, September and October). However, during the past two or three years, sales are occurring consistently throughout the year.

Men are leading the increase in sales of luxury watches. They are no longer an item that only tells time. Watches have settled as an accessory that men can enjoy, as well as an item which allows them to express their character.

When Shinsegae Department Store analysed its sales of luxury watches, brands such as IWC, Omega and TAG Heuer were popular among men in their 20s and 30s, while Rolex, Cartier, A. Lange & Sohne and Jaeger-LeCoultre were preferred by middle-aged men.

  • Original reporting by M H Lee.

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