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奢侈腕表的未来

更新时间:2017-9-20 11:20:45 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A Shopping Spree in Hong Kong: The Past and the Future
奢侈腕表的未来

At a shopping mall here that caters to mainland Chinese tourists, Jayce Zhao veered into a Hublot boutique to inquire about a $24,275 watch that he had seen advertised on Instagram.

在一座面向内地游客的购物中心,杰斯·赵(Jayce Zhao)转进一家宇舶(Hublot)精品店,询问一只他在Instagram上的广告里看到的售价2万4275美元的腕表。

Mr. Zhao, who is from Beijing and works for Morgan Stanley in New York, was ushered into a plush alcove with gray carpets and a poster of a Ferrari, a nod to Hublot’s branding partnership with the Italian carmaker. After a saleswoman wearing black gloves displayed the intricacies of the watch’s sapphire dial and matte black ceramic case, he said that he planned to buy it.

赵来自北京,在纽约为摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)公司工作,他被引进一间豪华的隔间,里面铺着灰色的地毯,挂着一张法拉利的海报,这家意大利汽车制造商是宇舶的品牌合作伙伴。一位带着黑色手套的女销售员向他展示了这只腕表的蓝宝石刻度盘和哑光黑色陶瓷表壳的复杂构造,然后,他说他准备买下它。

“The watch tells you I’m 26,” Mr. Zhao, who wore shorts and a black T-shirt, said of the model from Hublot’s Spirit of Big Bang collection. He said that he liked both its simple look and classic undertones, and that it would complement the two dozen other watches — each worth around $50,000 — in his expanding collection.

“这只表会告诉你,我26岁,”穿着短裤和黑色T恤的赵谈起这只宇舶大爆炸精神系列的腕表。他说他喜欢它的简洁外观和经典底色,它可以和其他二十几只表——每一只都在五万美元左右——一起扩充他的收藏。

If he wore a more traditional timepiece, he added, a friend might ask skeptically, “Why do you have your father’s or grandpa’s watch?”

他补充道,如果他戴一只更传统的腕表,朋友可能会怀疑地问,“你为什么要戴你父亲或祖父的表?”

Mr. Zhao’s choice to shop in Hong Kong — for years a global leader in retail watch sales — is in some ways a throwback to an era that analysts say is coming to an end. Wealthy people from the Chinese mainland are traveling more widely overseas and increasingly shopping at home, they say, making this semiautonomous Chinese city less essential as a retail destination.

赵把购物地点选在了香港——一个多年以来腕表销售领域的全球领袖——在某种程度上是对一个时代的回溯,分析人士认为,那个时代正在走向终点。他们表示,来自中国大陆的富人们正在去往更多的海外地点旅游,也越来越倾向于在本土购物,这让这个半自治的中国城市作为零售目的地的地位变得愈发无关紧要。

But Mr. Zhao also represents the future: He is part of a new generation of wealthy mainland Chinese men — one with more varied watch tastes than their elders — that industry experts say is now coming into its own.

但是赵也代表着未来:他是新一代中国内地富裕男性的一员——他们对腕表的品位比他们的长辈更加多变——业内专家们认为,属于他们的时代正在到来。

“A new affluent Chinese class has become a more globalized kind of consumer,” said Ellen Hou, chief executive of Carat China, a communications agency based in Beijing.

“一个崭新的中国富裕阶层已经成为更国际化的消费者,”位于北京的传播机构凯络中国区(Carat China)的首席执行官侯静雯(Ellen Hou)说。

The country’s older generation of watch buyers was less sophisticated and had little brand awareness, she added, citing one of the findings in a recent report on what her agency called China’s “mass affluent males,” issued in partnership with Jing Daily, a website that covers the country’s luxury industry.

这个国家的老一辈腕表买家没有那么懂行,也缺少品牌意识,她补充道,引述了近期一份报告中的结论之一,这份关于凯络称之为中国的“大众富裕男性”的报告是与关注中国奢侈品行业的网站精日传媒共同发布的。

Ms. Hou said the shift required brands to have a new “product logic,” advertising through social media and emphasizing the uniqueness, authenticity and craftsmanship of their watches.

侯静雯说,这种转变要求品牌具有新的“产品逻辑”,通过社交媒体做推广,强调其腕表的独特性、真实性和工艺。

Some watch brands and fashion companies already are adapting well, she said, but many others — especially ones that primarily cater to older Chinese buyers — have been slow to catch on. “Now is really a time to refresh the whole watch category to see who will survive” in the Chinese market, she said.

一些腕表品牌和时尚公司已经适应得很好,她说,但很多其他品牌,尤其是那些主要面向年长中国买家的,接受起来很慢。“现在的确是时候给整个腕表类别重新洗牌,看看谁最终能生存”于中国市场,她说。

As for Hong Kong, it “was once the place where Chinese consumers would come to shop,” said Luca Solca, a luxury analyst at Exane BNP Paribas who is based in Switzerland. “Now they can buy in China or elsewhere when they travel.”

至于香港,它“曾经是中国消费者会前去购物的地方,”在瑞士就职于Exane BNP Paribas的奢侈品分析师卢卡·索卡(Luca Solca)说。“现在他们可以在中国或者他们旅行去的任何地方购物。”

The Chinese government has been reducing official import duties on some luxury goods, including watches, and cracking down on people who buy such items overseas and then don’t declare them to airport customs inspectors on their return.

中国政府已经在降低包括腕表在内的一些奢侈品的官方进口关税,同时打击那些在海外购买这些商品,回国时又不向机场的海关检查员申报的人。

The global drop in demand for Swiss and other watches has been especially significant in Hong Kong, which lost its status as the top Swiss watch market to the United States last July. Swiss watch exports to Hong Kong fell 33 percent in the first half of 2016 compared with the same period of 2011, according to a September 2016 study of the Swiss watch industry by Deloitte, an American accounting and consulting firm.

全球对瑞士和其他腕表的需求减少在香港尤为显著,去年7月,该地区把瑞士腕表第一大市场的地位让给了美国。根据美国会计与咨询公司德勤(Deloitte)在2016年9月发布的一份关于瑞士腕表产业的研究,瑞士腕表在2016年上半年对香港的出口量与2011年同期相比下降了33%。

While all five major watch markets — Hong Kong, the United States, Switzerland, mainland China and Japan — reported import declines in 2016, the downturn in mainland China’s imports of all watcheswas the most moderate, at 1.6 percent year over year, according to a recent study by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

尽管五个主要腕表市场——香港、美国、瑞士、中国大陆和日本——在2016年都汇报了进口量的减少,但根据瑞士腕表业联合会(Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry)近期的一份研究,中国大陆腕表进口量的下降最为缓和,每年的下滑率为1.6%。

And 2016 sales totals for Swiss watches in mainland China declined just 3.3 percent, buoyed by 9.1 percent growth in the second half of the year, the study said. (In contrast, Hong Kong sales of Swiss watches declined 25.1 percent last year.)

该研究显示,受下半年9.1%的增长支撑,2016年中国大陆的瑞士手表销售总额仅仅下降了3.3%。(相比之下,香港的瑞士手表销量去年下滑了25.1%。)

“Business is growing dramatically — double digits — for most brands in mainland China,” said Julien Tornare, chief executive of Zenith Watches, “when it’s kind of stable in the rest of the world.”

“对进入中国大陆的大多数品牌来说,生意在迅猛增长,达到了两位数,”真力时(Zenith Watches)首席执行官朱利安·托内尔(Julien Tornare)说,“而世界其他地方的情况比较平稳。”

To nurture that growth, said Jules Boudrand, Deloitte’s head of corporate finance advisory for western Switzerland, there was a clear need for Swiss watch brands to engage with younger audiences across the entire Chinese market and adapt to their changing tastes. He noted that some brands were now advertising through WeChat, the popular Chinese messaging app, and recruiting young Chinese celebrities as brand ambassadors.

德勤的瑞士西部企业财务咨询主管朱尔斯·波德兰(Jules Boudrand)说,为了培育这种增长,瑞士腕表品牌明确需要与整个中国市场的年轻观众建立关系,适应他们正在变化的品位。他提到一些品牌正在通过热门的中国即时讯息应用微信做推广,并且邀请年轻的中国名人担任品牌大使。

Ms. Hou of Carat China said some fashion companies were taking a similar approach to their watch marketing. A good example, she noted, was Louis Vuitton’s recent announcement of the 27-year-old Chinese singer Lu Han — a former boy band star — as a brand ambassador for the Tambour Horizon smartwatch that it debuted in July.

凯络中国区的侯女士说,一些时尚公司对他们的腕表产品的市场推广采取了类似的方式。她指出,一个很好的例子是,路易威登(Louis Vuitton)近期宣布,27岁的中国歌手鹿晗——一名前男孩组合的明星——成为7月推出的智能腕表Tambour Horizon的品牌大使。

Kings Lau, a Deloitte analyst who specializes in southern China, said that young Chinese buyers were especially interested in “affordable luxury” smartwatches with personalized design features. “For the young, it’s more and more important that their watch provides an identity” rather than a marker of social status, Mr. Lau said.

专注中国南方市场的德勤分析员金斯·刘(Kings Lau)说,年轻一代的中国买家尤其对带有个性化设计特点的“轻奢”智能手表感兴趣。“对年轻人来说,越来越重要的是,他们的手表能提供一种身份认同”而不是一种社会地位的标识,他说。

Deloitte says that it defines the “affordable luxury” smartwatch category as starting at around $300 and including the Apple Watch, the Tag Heuer Connected and Frédérique Constant’s Horological Smartwatch.

德勤说,它将“轻奢”智能手表这一类别定义为从大约300美元起价,包括苹果的Apple Watch、泰格豪雅(Tag Heuer)的Tag Heuer Connected和康斯登(Frédérique Constant)的Horological Smartwatch在内的产品。

At Tag Heuer, the core customer base in Greater China (a sales category that includes Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) are still people 35 to 50 years old, said Leo Poon, the company’s general manager for the region. But its number of 20- to 35-year-old buyers has roughly doubled since 2014, now providing about 20 percent of the region’s sales at storesas well as more than 55 percent of all online sales.

泰格豪雅的大中华区总经理潘锦基(Leo Poon)说,该品牌在大中华地区(一个包含香港、澳门和台湾在内的销售范畴)的核心顾客仍然是35-50岁的人士。但自2014年以来,20-35岁的买家数量已经几乎翻了一倍,现在为该地区贡献店内销售总额的约20%,以及在线销售总额的超过55%。

The company recently dropped its prices in greater China, Mr. Poon said, and has been seeking a younger customer by marketing its watches around sports like surfing and basketball.

该公司近期下调了大中华地区的销售价格,潘锦基说,并且通过围绕例如冲浪和篮球等运动开展推广活动来吸引年轻一代的顾客。

He added that the company would soon debut a China-specific version of its Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45, a sporty smartwatch introduced in March that starts at $1,495 online.

他还补充说,该公司很快将推出泰格豪雅Connected Modular 45的中国特别版,这款运动型智能手表在3月面世,网络售价1495美元起。

“We are not creating a classic watch,” the kind of timepiece that was prized by older Chinese buyers and usually had a gold case and a white band, Mr. Poon added. “We’re creating something different.”

“我们不是在打造一款经典腕表,”那种受老一辈中国买家赞赏的、通常用金色表壳和白色表带装饰的腕表,潘锦基说。“我们在创造一种不同的东西。”

Mr. Tornare of Zenith Watches said Chinese male buyers 20 to 35 years old were still willing to pay for mechanical watches, often at prices of $5,000 to $12,000. But, he added — echoing some of Ms. Hou’s comments — they are far more discerning than their parents about timepieces and their tastes increasingly resemble that of their peers in Europe and the United States.

真力时的托内尔说,20-35岁的中国男性买家仍然愿意购买机械表,其价格通常在五千至一万两千美元之间。但是,他补充说——呼应侯静雯的一些评论——与自己的父母相比,他们对钟表产品更有鉴赏力,品位与欧洲及美国的同龄人越也来越相似。

In October, Zenith plans to woo this demographic with the Defy El Primero 21 — a redesign of a classic Zenith watch, the 1969 El Primero chronograph, but with what Mr. Tornare described as significantly improved technical performance. He said he hoped the new watch’s back story and innovations would convince young Chinese men that its price tag of about $10,000 was justified.

真力时计划在十月用Defy El Primero 21——其经典款1969 El Primero chronograph的重新设计版来讨好这一年龄段的人群,据托内尔描述,新款在技术表现方面有巨大提升。他说他希望新款腕表的背景故事和创新可以说服中国男性,它一万美元左右的价格是合理的。

“They don’t need to show they’re wealthy because they’re second generation,” he said. “They were born wealthy. They just want to buy what they like.”

“因为他们是第二代,他们不需要展示自己的财富,”他说。“他们生来富贵。他们只是想买自己喜欢的东西。”

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