'Watching' the evolving taste of the discerning Indian consumer and understanding the growth potential of the Rs 220-crore luxury watch market in the country, Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre (JLC) has come up to introduce its high-end range of premium watches in India.
Referring to the Indian market for high-end watches, Nicolas Baretzki, International Director, JLC told exchange4media.com: "With Indian fashion arriving on the international scene and Indians arriving young in life, the market for luxury watches is upbeat. The Indian market absorbs nearly 40 million pieces of premium watches a year."
Sahni Gurinder, Managing Director, JOT Impex - the company that distributes Baume & Mercier and Jaeger-Le Coultre in India, echoed Baretzki. "Today's Indian consumers are highly conversant with most of the Swiss luxury brands, and the market for high-end watches is definitely growing in India," he said.
"With increasing number of international travels, today's Indian consumers are far more aware of what is available globally and they are being more interested to source them in India-not alone watches but other products as well," observed Gurinder.
The array of exotic watches from the JLC stable will include Master Compressor Dualmatic - the most recent addition to the Master Compressor line. Initially launched in New Delhi and Mumbai, the JLC collection starts at Rs 1.5 lacs.
What drives the Indian buyer towards such premium brands? "The A++ segment spend on acquiring expensive watches considering them as a symbol of their lifestyle and an extension of their personality," Gurinder offered an insight into the buyer's psyche. "It is not the price tag that is important; it is the values that are communicated by the brand," he emphasised.
Asked why would the buyer go for Jaeger-LeCoultre when other premium watches were available at half the price, Baretzki replied: "Jaeger-LeCoultre is the BMW-Mercedes equivalent of watches, and this is for people who want to make a statement, for connoisseurs of watches."
With hordes of luxury brands vying for consumer's attention, watch distributors were disinterested to speak about their plans on prolific media campaigns. Jaeger-LeCoultre - the brand that has bagged several international awards, plans to conduct select exhibitions of their top-of-the-line collections to educate distributors about the brand history. "Selling super luxury watches is a different ballgame altogether. We want to create awareness about the brand equity," said Baretzki.