In 1847, Jaeger-LeCoultre created the first keyless watch, recalls China Daily. As the Twentieth Century dawned, the brand laid claim to the world’s thinnest movement. By 1956, they had the first self-winding watch with an alarm. And then, in 1999, they entered China. Now celebrating its 180th anniversary, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s reputation for quality endures, but its time in China has marked a new chapter in the brand’s history.
“Over the past 14 years we have continued to explore, innovate and bring amazement to watch fans and collectors in China. Rational and steady development is always our basic rule of business strategy,” said Daniel Chang, Jaeger-LeCoultre Managing Director for China.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has been able to carve out a niche for its reliability and flair, and its long history has appealed to Chinese consumers’ sense of legacy. Chang said, “Chinese customers have high standards of discretion and taste. They appreciate the Swiss fine watchmaking craftsmanship and the originality of design. Chinese particularly like elegantly designed watches with round and ultra-thin cases, and those with the moon phase function.” He acknowledges, though, that customers in different regions have different preferences.
The brand has 12 boutiques and 43 wholesale points in China, with plans to enter into Chongqing and Chengdu and to put boutiques in Beijing and Shanghai. These plans will be enacted in the hopes of increasing brand visibility – a priority that remains crucial despite the brand’s fourteen years in the country.
In 2012 Richemont SA, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s parent company, reported a profit of $2.07 billion, 43 percent more than in 2011. Worldwide sales were worth approximately $11.9 billion, of which the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 42 percent.
image credit: jaeger lecoultre