Vacheron Constantin Asia Pacific Director: Why Do Chinese People Buy High-end Watches?

At the 796 Huaihai Middle Road, Shanghai, the home of Vacheron Constantin, Julien Tornare sat opposite and talked. ‘In the future, we will open more brand image stores like Shanghai Vacheron Constantin House,’ he said.
As the new Managing Director of Vacheron Constantin in the Asia Pacific region, Julien Tornare has too much expectation for this hot market in China, and his own actions are equally aspirational. He has led the brand’s US market for 6 years, and his achievements are obvious to all. The Chinese market is undoubtedly a wider stage.

Teach Chinese to fall in love with complex functions
At this year’s Basel Watch Fair, many brands launched simple, ultra-thin watches, which has become the biggest trend of this year’s timepieces. The reason why this cannot be ignored is that Chinese consumers prefer this type of appearance, so the ultra-thin trend is largely to cater to the appetite of Chinese people and pry open Chinese wallets. It is nicknamed ‘Chinese Watch’. But these ultra-thin watches look simple, but they are not simple. As Julien Tornare puts it: ‘It’s not easy to do. It’s very difficult to make. You need to put that multifunctional and parts into such a thin watch. In the shell. ‘
In fact, what we want to say is that under this trend, will Vacheron Constantin produce more simple watches in order to conform to the Chinese market? Because this brand has always been known for its complex watches.
Julien Tornare’s answer is: No. ‘We produce watches not only to please the Chinese market, but to have our own brand philosophy. We will do some positioning for our products according to customer needs, but the core brands will not change, that is, in terms of technology, design, and craftsmanship. In terms of application, the Vacheron Constantin tradition is the mainstay, and it has continued. He added, ‘Each brand is its own DNA. The most important thing is to maintain it, not to modify it arbitrarily according to market demand. For example, some watch brands It is famous for its sports models. One day it suddenly made some ultra-thin and small watches, and the market may not be able to accept it all at once. ‘
As we all know, manufacturing complex-function watches is very difficult technology, but not everyone can understand the profound beauty. More people see not the doorway, but the excitement, and they do n’t know why they need to spend millions. Go buy a complication watch. ‘I think a better way for consumers to understand complex functions is to create interactive opportunities and pass on the knowledge of complex functions to them.’
Taking Vacheron Constantin as an example, they will regularly hold small parties and exchange dinners for VIP customers, and invite watchmakers to demonstrate and introduce complex functions on the spot, such as tourbillons. Masters will introduce how tourbillons are made and their functions in watches. What is it, what are the differences in the production process of each brand. ‘Customers can understand the birth process of high-complexity watches and the story behind it by communicating with the master. This is the most intuitive way to understand the product. Many customers first buy simple models, and then buy slightly more complicated ones. Buying high complexity, this gradual process is also our hope to lead customers to understand the mystery of the watch step by step, so that they know what is the significance behind spending so much money on a watch. ‘

Americans like personality, Chinese prefer identity
Leading the US market for 6 years, Julien Tornare is absolutely familiar with this market, and although it has been only half a year in the Chinese market, it is clearly not unfamiliar. He has been able to sum up the differences between the two markets. ‘This may be because the traditions of the two nations are different.’
First of all, people in the two markets have shown very different interests in the cultural heritage behind the watch brands. Americans are not very cold about this. ‘A lot of people do n’t want to explore and understand more about the products behind them. They buy a product according to their own needs, while the Chinese are completely the opposite. Julien Tornare believes that This has something to do with the long history of the Chinese nation. ‘Chinese consumers are particularly willing to understand the true essence and cultural significance behind a brand through a watch. ‘
Second, consumers in both countries have different preferences for watch types. Americans prefer things with a flamboyant personality, so they prefer large dials, timekeeping functions, and dot sports. They do not have high requirements for materials, such as pink rose gold or any rare metal, and they are not particular about it. ; Chinese people like simple, traditional, especially small round, in the material is more biased towards precious metals, which can represent noble or their own identity.
‘In the Chinese market in the past few months, I have also seen that many Chinese consumers may not be the actual target shopping group of Vacheron Constantin or other high-end watch brands. For example, their spending power is not enough, but their love and sentiment for high-end watches is still Existing, they are willing to spend time and energy to accumulate wealth and wait for one day to buy the products of high-end watch brands. Once owned, this watch is not only for them to wear, but also a status symbol. ‘- –

Updated: 8. September 2020 — 12:49
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