Retail in Asia

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Cartier’s watches lose their sparkle in China

The gold and diamonds of Cartier jewellery are so popular with women that the brand founded in Paris in 1847 is finding it difficult to market watches to men.

The world’s biggest jewellery and watch brand in terms of combined sales generates more than two thirds of profits for Swiss parent Richemont, but watch revenues have dwindled relentlessly while jewellery sales have boomed.

Like other high-end watchmakers Cartier is suffering from a drop in demand in big markets such as Hong Kong, mainland China, Russia and the United States. But some of Cartier’s problems are specific to the brand, setting up a challenge for Cyrille Vigneron when he takes over the leadership next month.

Improving Cartier’s image as a watchmaker in China, where wealthy women love its red boxes but men prefer pure watch brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin, may be top of his to-do list.

(Source: CNBC)