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A miss for Swiss?

By Sun Yuanqing ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-01-30 07:29:52

A miss for Swiss?

Luxury goods stores open on Russell Street in Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong to attract customers from the Chinese mainland. Photos provided to China Daily

The impending rise of the Swiss franc has not caused a rush among Chinese to buy luxury watches, Sun Yuanqing reports.

Swiss watch sellers in Chinese mainland say there has not been much difference in sales so far since the Swiss franc's sudden surge on Jan 15, although dealers in Hong Kong and Singapore have reported a rush of business.

Swiss watchmakers have been planning price hikes to counter the ascent of the Swiss franc since the Swiss National Bank decided to remove the cap on the franc-euro exchange rate.

Swatch Group has announced price hikes of up to 10 percent, while Richemont's Cartier and Jaeger LeCoultre will increase prices by 5 percent in the euro zone, according to media reports.

A sales clerk in the Piaget store in Shin Kong Place in Beijing says the price will rise 8 to 15 percent after the Spring Festival, depending on the popularity of each model. The official notice has not been issued.

"We usually get the notice one day before the price rise," she says.

A sales person at the Chaumet store says the price has been climbing steadily, about 10 percent every year, after the Spring Festival, regardless of any change in the exchange rate.

Both stores, along with Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Vacheron Constantin and Longines, say the customer flow has remained steady since the appreciation of the Swiss franc. None of them has adjusted the prices yet.

The China heads of Rolex, Blancpain, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin and Cartier didn't answer to interview requests about when and how much their prices in China will rise.

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