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US luxury consumer survey: Harry Winston and Vacheron Constantin top the lists

February 13, 2008
Due to its great reputation and status as the "ultimate in diamond design," Harry Winston has been named the top luxury brand by wealthy consumers, according to the Luxury Intitute's 2008 Jewelry Brand Status Index study.

The study, which polled more than 500 consumers with a net worth averaging $15.1 million, asked respondents to choose the top 10 luxury jewelry brands from a predetermined list of 20, based on four criteria: superior quality, uniqueness and exclusivity, their social status and which had excellent customer service.

Harry Winston came out on top, followed by Buccellati, Van Cleef and Arpels, Graff, Tiffany, Piaget, Cartier, Chopard, Bulgari and Mikimoto.

"This ranking tells us what the wealthy deem to be prestigious, true luxury brands," Luxury Institute Chief Executive Officer Milton Pedraza said in a statement.

Luxury watch brands were also ranked, with Vacheron Constantin emerging victorious, followed by Patek Philippe and Piaget.

Respondents said Vacheron Constantin is "one of the best in skeleton movements and finishing" and is "very dependable and unique."
Source: Nationaljeweler.com

Source: Nationaljeweler:
www.nationaljeweler.com
 

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I must admit that Harry Winston was not on my radar until I saw a review in a reputable watch magazine that lauded a new feature that was a "legitimate" breakthrough in the horological world (I can't remember what it was...must have been impressive, eh?). So I assumed the brand was more than a fashion watch, silly me.

Anyway, having read about it on the plane to Las Vegas, I stumbled on a Harry Winston botique while I was there and decided to inquire about it. I asked the lady if they might have one. She was very cool about it and stepped out of her "role" for a moment. She said, "these guys are selling stuff that is in the hundreds of thousands, and millions of dollars". The watch that I was looking for was probably in their Paris or Rome or NYC store, bla, bla..We talked under our breath about ostentation a bit, and had a good chuckle.

Then I was off to Torneau to look at the new Panerais...:laugh:
 

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The watch names make sense. The ultra wealthy almost certainly like Rolex, Omega, and Clerc but they love the "grand producers" like VC and PP. I'm surprised Piaget was a top 3.

There were only 500 respondents. How many were women? We tend to not follow the ladies models on this forum and many here explicitly exclude diamond/gems models. This might color our perspective.
 

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I wonder how knowledgable the "ultra wealthy" are about watches. My guess is they go for the most expensive....the ones their AD's show them. Different strokes.....
 

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It's no wonder you haven't heard of them, being a watch guy like the rest of us. They are not a watch company. Harry Winston was an ultra high-end jeweler that catered to the uber rich with overpriced, frilly delicate stuff that wouldn't appeal to most of us here. I guess that he was famous for having the Hope Diamond for awhile.

They sub out their watches just like every other fashion house. Then they put their name on it to run up the price. Although in this case their watchbuilders are some of the best that money can buy, and their work is actually respected in the horological community. (Jacob did the same thing, with the Quentin. I saw that magnificent piece with the Jacob name on it and cringed). I guess that's what having lots of money will get you.

By now you've probably guessed that I harbour a certain amount of disdain for that kind of thing, but I realize that it is necessary to further the creation of good things; from the Medicis to Cartier and Tiffany, patronage has always had its place. Sometimes you have to sell out to the money guys to accomplish your purposes...

Ok...rant over. Just my two cents:001_rolleyes:
 
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