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Cartier Tops Jewelry Brand List in China as Luxury Spending Drops

Wealthy Consumers Chose Calligraphy Over Watch Collecting

Jan 16, 2014 9:03 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... China's high-net-worth community selected Cartier as the ''best of the best'' jewelry brand this year as well as for offering the ''best jewelry watch'' and Patek Philippe was named the best watch brand, according to the 10th annual Hurun Report on luxury spending.

In addition, wealthy consumers in China selected Cui Huang Ge for the best jade, Montblanc for the best writing instrument and Patek Philippe as the best watch with complications. The best new arrival in the jewelry and watch categories included the Omega Laymatic and Blancpain Chinese Calendar Red.wealthy Chinese

The Hurun Report also defined ''star performer'' brands, or those that have developed the most during the past year, naming Chanel for jewelry, Bao Yi He for jade, Blancpain for watches and Breguet for watches with high complications. Van Cleef & Arpels was the star performer in the  jewelry watches category.

The annual survey revealed that jewelry brands experienced a difficult year in China as spending fell and non-jewelry brands gained in popularity with wealthy consumers. Red wine was the top gift choice for men by men and for men by women. The best gifts for women, in order, were jewelry, apparel, watches, travel vouchers and electronics. Other top gifts for men from men, in order, were Baiju, watches, electronics and cigars, while gifts for men from women were watches, electronics, art and cigars. 

The top 10 brands for men giving gifts included Hermes, Apple, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Cartier, Prada, Montblanc, Giorgio Armani and Burberry. The top 10 brands gift-giving women were Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Hermes, Gucci, Dior, Cartier, Prada, Giorio Armani and Bulgari.

The Hurun Report noted that overall spending on luxury goods dropped 15 percent in the past year in Mainland China and gift-giving spending plunged 25 percent, perhaps due to stronger anti-corruption initiatives, the report opined. For the first time in five years, watch collecting as a pastime lost  to collecting traditional Chinese ink painting.

Other important takeaways from the report observed that 64 percent of wealthy Chinese are either emigrating or planning to do so, which is up from 60 percent in 2012 as one third of China's super rich have already emigrated.

The Hurun Report surveyed 393 individuals one on one with an average net worth of $9.8 million (RMB 59.2 million) in Mainland China. The average age was 38 years old.  Real estate is the top investment of choice followed by equities, though super-rich, or those worth at least $16 million, prefer to stock up on art and alternative investments.

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Tags: China, hurun report, Jeff Miller, jewelry brands, wealthy consumers
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