Just in case you have been losing sleep over the fortunes of luxury conglomerate LVMH in these rocky times for Swiss watches, relax. Sales of LVMH’s watch brands are set to maintain their double-digit percentage growth in the second half of 2017, despite tougher year-on-year comparisons, the head of the luxury company’s watch business said on Thursday.
Watch and jewelry sales at the world’s biggest luxury company rose 13% in the first half of the year, outperforming the watch businesses of Swiss rivals Swatch Group and Richemont.
“We hope to be able to maintain this pace of growth even if the comparables are less favourable in the second half,” Jean-Claude Biver, LVMH Head of Watchmaking
Swatch Group gave a similarly positive outlook for the second half last month. Jean-Claude Biver, with a personal net worth estimated at $160 million, said TAG Heuer’s second-generation “connected” watch launched in March had become the brand’s best-selling model by the end of July. The watch enables wearers to switch between a smartwatch and a traditional mechanical watch movement.
He also said TAG Heuer was working on a smartwatch that could connect to high-speed mobile networks without needing a linked smartphone within range, confirming a report published in Swiss newspaper Handelszeitung.
Biver’s comments came just days after media reports that Apple Inc planned to release a version of its smartwatch later this year with an LTE (Long Term Evolution) modem to connect to high-speed networks.
“We still need to solve some technical problems and find agreements with the different operators in the countries where we’d like to sell this LTE watch,” Jean-Claude Biver