More signs of 'revenge buying' with Swatch's stunning China results

At The DAIMANI Journal we have been closely tracking signs of ‘revenge buying’ in the China market, as a proxy towards consumers in that market taking the first steps towards some form of post-coronavirus recovery. And with ‘revenge buying’ comes ‘revenge travelling’ and hopefully some helpful momentum towards purchasing official VIP Hospitality at major Live Events around the world.

Although Blick’s headline interview with Swatch Group’s CEO Nick Hayek carried the grim summary «Katastrophal!» there was one particular nugget of extraordinary information.

In der Krise kann der Mensch sehr gut ohne eine neue Uhr leben.

In der Krise ja, aber nach der Krise ist meine Erfahrung eine ganz andere: Die Leute kompensieren, da sie jetzt kein Geld ausgeben können. Sie wollen sich emotional etwas Gutes tun ­– und Uhren sind etwas Emotionales! Unsere Kinderuhr Flik Flak wird im Moment im E-Commerce so stark gekauft wie selten. Wahrscheinlich auch, weil es vielleicht der Moment ist, um Geschenke zu machen. Und, Sie werden es kaum glauben: In unseren eigenen Läden in China liegen die Verkaufszahlen im April, jetzt wo die Krise vorbei zu sein scheint, 24 Prozent über dem Wert von April 2019!

In a crisis, people can live very well without a new watch.

In the crisis, yes, but after the crisis, my experience is completely different: people compensate because they cannot spend money now. You want to do something good for yourself emotionally - and watches are something emotional! Our children's watch Flik Flak is currently being bought as strongly as ever in e-commerce. Probably also because it may be the time to give gifts. And, you will hardly believe it: in our own stores in China, sales in April, now that the crisis seems to be over, are 24 percent higher than in April 2019!

[Our emphasis]

The Swatch Group is best known for Swatch watches but also includes upmarket Breguet timepieces and high-end Omega and Tissot watches.

In a related read, if you ever thought to wonder why a stainless steel Rolex Submariner cost US$ 7,900, but a pink gold Roger Dubuis Excalibur was priced at US$ 76,000, the Wall Street Journal looks to explain what factors determine such watches’ retail value aside from material costs.

One of the key elements is Time.

‘During a trip to the Geneva factory of Vacheron Constantin, whose watches often cost in the low five figures, [a well-known watch buyer] met a worker who specialized in making minuscule screws that go inside a watch. The worker finished one and a half screws a day.’

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Charlie Charters is a former rugby union official and sports marketing executive turned thriller writer whose debut book Bolt Action was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2010.
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