Watchmakers at the annual ‘Baselworld’ watch and jewellery fair in Switzerland say they are looking East. As the trade show opened, the head of the exhibitors5; committee, Jacques Duchene, said: 6;Swiss brands have never been in such a healthy state, especially the big luxury names.”
With the market in China booming, sales of the more expensive timepieces have taken off. Luxury watches made with precious metals, jewels and hand-crafted mechanisms now account for eighty per cent of the Swiss watch sold by value. Exports nearly doubled in the past ten years.
However, the trade show organisers warned that counterfeit goods posed an increasing threat. They have calculated that fake luxury watches now account for ten per cent of the total international trade.