Montblanc looks to capture Rolex, Breitling, price points
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Montblanc looks to capture Rolex, Breitling, price points

Luxury Swiss watchmaker Montblanc is looking to capture territory from Rolex and Breitling, as it debuts a range of sports models that will feature in the €4,000 to €6,000 price range. Montblanc, owned by luxury conglomerate Richemont, already has the market cornered at €2,000 to €4,000 – now it’s looking to compete hard with peers in an effort to wrangle value from increasingly watch-friendly consumers around the world.

Richemont’s share price has risen by 15% over the last 12 months

graph 0117 montblanc

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

These comparatively low price points (relative to the Swiss luxury timepiece industry as a whole) are becoming more heavily contested. The industry suffered as a result of president Xi Jingping’s anti-corruption drive in China – which effectively banned the practice of “gift giving”, a sales route for European luxury brands into the country. Now, demand is rising again: China is relaxing, the luxury sector is experiencing a turn around, and consumers are spending again. However, it’s early days: and that means that watches which cost under €20,000 are, for now, the safest bet to capture consumer interest.

Davide Cerrato, the managing director of Montblanc’s watch business, knows this full well. He recently told the press that “there is a strong battle in value that is coming up,” referring to the flurry of activity around the €6,000 price point for Swiss watches. But he’s confident. Montblanc’s new range of sports watches will not only be a decisive play for this market, it will also increase exposure to the U.S., where as much as 80% of the luxury watch market is based around sports models.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Richemont in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.


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