Patek Philippe is set to open a second store in China, with the brand stating that it is placing long-term focus on its luxury market.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Patek Philippe is hoping that China’s demand for luxury watches will continue, despite concerns that the market is slowing.
The new 13,000sqft store will be housed in the former British consulate in Shanghai and will sell timepieces retailing up to £150,000.
Thierry Stern, president of Patek Philippe, told the Wall Street Journal that he believes Chinese shoppers will continue to buy watches selling for 1.5 million yuan (£150,000) because consumers are still seeking out products that can be passed down through the generations.
He also stated that Chinese shoppers demand exclusivity from the products they buy, and as a result the brand is operating with a “long-term view of this market”. Stern noted the aggressive expansion of other luxury watch brands in the Chinese markets, describing it as reaping short-term benefits rather than taking a measured approach the growth.
The brand sells about 55,000 watches globally each year, with Chinese sales accounting for 40% of this figure, though most sales are made outside of China owing to the country’s high luxury tax.
Patek Philippe is reinvesting back into the market, however, by opening a watch repair school in Shanghai, so it can eventually open a repair and service centre to avoid sending timepieces overseas for long periods of time.
Recent Swiss export figures show that Asian markets have been most affected by the downturn, with exports to Hong Kong, China and Singapore recording some of the steepest declines.