Swiss watchmaking conquers the Indian market

Swiss watchmakers turn their attention to the booming Indian market. Despite its challenges, the South Asian giant represents immense potential for Swiss watchmakers. With a recent free-trade agreement opening up new opportunities, brands are gearing up to conquer this promising market.


Swiss watchmaking, renowned for its expertise and unrivalled luxury, is looking to new horizons with growing interest in the Indian market. While the main watchmaking markets have traditionally been concentrated in Europe, Asia – with China in the lead – and the USA, India is now emerging as a key player not to be overlooked.


“India represents enormous potential,” declared Yves Bugmann, the new president of the watchmaking federation, at the Geneva Watch Show, which closed its doors on Monday evening.


Despite its colossal population of 1.4 billion, India has remained on the bangs of the luxury watch sector.


Ranked 22nd in Swiss watch exports, just ahead of Austria, India has long been overshadowed by other, more dynamic markets. High taxes, around 55% (customs duty of around 20% for watches, goods and services tax of 18%, plus an additional surtax), have been a major obstacle for luxury brands seeking to penetrate this market.


But the challenges of accessing the Indian market are not limited to high taxes. There are also the consumer habits of India’s elite, who often prefer to buy luxury watches when traveling abroad to destinations such as London, Dubai or Singapore. This trend has reduced the appeal of the domestic market for Swiss brands.


A game-changing agreement


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Featured photo : © Raymond Weil

Picture of Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet is a young and passionate journalist whose favorite subjects are economy, culture, gastronomy, but also cars, and sports. With a sharp pen and an insatiable curiosity, Hugues is constantly on the lookout for new hot information to report.

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