Watch industry: Hublot, Bulgari look to rebound

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Watch industry: Hublot, Bulgari look to rebound

The spread of the coronaviruses COVID - 19 continues in Zurich, Switzerland, January 25, 2021, as the company's logo is seen in a shop of LVMH's Hublot watch brand. REUTERS Arnd Wiegmann File Photo

Hublot and Bulgari are holding LVMH Watch Week online, alongside LVMH stablemates Zenith and TAG Heuer.

The Serpenti watches, which can cost as much as 240,000 euros $271,464, can be found online at the Serpenti website. The 00 for the most expensive models is powered by a new miniature Piccolissimo mechanical movement.

Swiss luxury watch sales fell sharply in 2020 due to the pandemic shuttered shops and curbed tourism. Swiss watch exports were slightly over the level of November last year, thanks to strong demand in the United States and China. In an interview with Hublot Chief Executive Ricardo Guadalupe on Monday, 30% sales growth in the United States and excellent numbers in mainland China was a good year in 2021, and we did better than in the year 2021, he said.

We believe that we'll have solid growth, even though we won't see the same rebound between 2021 and 2022. He said that tourist shoppers were still largely absent, and that supply chain issues, mainly due to workers sick with the Omicron variant, had caused production delays that would hopefully be resolved by the summer.

Bulgari Chief Executive Jean-Christophe Babin told Reuters that the brand had also done better last year than in pre-pandemic 2019 thanks to market share gains.

He said that he wants to continue with this positive trend in 2022 and that new yellow gold models should help to attract U.S. consumers who are fans of that type of gold, while Asians tend to prefer rose gold.

The United States became the second-biggest market last year and it has one of the best growth rates currently, according to Babin.

Kering PRTP.PA, a big French luxury goods group that competes with LVMH, said on Monday it was dissolving its Swiss watch brands Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin.