2013, which was an excellent year for DFS, saw a resurgence of classic men’s designs in a round case, 39-41mm with easy to read dials. The performance of the core ranges in watchmaker brands, such as Blancpain, Villeret, Breguet – Classique, Chopard – L.U.C., Jaeger-LeCoultre – Master Control, IWC – Portuguese and Portofino, Omega – Constellation and Vacheron Constantin – Patrimony collection, led the charge for an extremely strong year in the men’s category. The importance of complications also drove the mid to high-end tier with Tourbillons, Perpetual Calendars, and Moon phases performing particularly strong amongst Asian travelers. TAG Heuer’s new boutique in our Four Seasons T Galleria in Macau opened in May has also seen success in Carrera collections, and in the more accessible range Longines has reinforced its leading position, notably with the amazing success achieved by the Masters and Flagship collections.
While the classic men’s design drove a significant portion of the business, we also had strong performances with our younger emerging clientele as well. Many of our next generation clients were seeking slightly larger designs, unconventional materials, or unique complications such as Roger Dubuis – Excalibur and Velvet collections, Hublot – Unico and Big Bang in Carbon with strong ties to the Ferrari partnership, and Panerai with the slightly larger 47mm ceramic cases in the Luminor and Radiomir collections. In our unique “T Timepieces” concept store in Macau, customers also voted for independent watch brands such as Christophe Claret, Laurent Ferrier, Richard Mille, and Greubel Forsey. DFS further elevated the customer experience by adding bespoke and personal touches to their purchases, such as a Camille Fournet strap bar, watch trunks and winders from Pinel & Pinel and Swiss Kubik.
Last and certainly not least, one of the biggest trends we have seen has been in our growing ladies segment. Many of the brands have moved away from the contemporary ladies’ quartz watches and now offer manual-winding movements and automatic complications. DFS has seen an increasing appreciation for artistic pieces beyond the traditional highly complicated technical watches and Tourbillons. Examples that highlight this include models from our partners such as Blancpain’s Quantieme Retrograde, Breguet’s Reine de Naples Cammea, Cartier’s Le Cirque Animalier, and Van Cleef & Arpels’ Midnight Paon Décor. Our female customers have become more demanding and are pursuing art pieces combining technical mastery of craftsmanship with beauty.
Masters of Time
Every year in December DFS holds one of the largest Haute Horlogerie retail events in the world at our T Macau, Shoppes at Four Seasons, now in its sixth edition for 2014. Masters of Time is truly a unique venue where DFS launches some of the rarest and most important watch launches of the year, with over 35 brands under one roof. This major player takes this opportunity to invite top VIP customers for a special preview and celebration of the passion of fine watchmaking. This past December, over 400 pieces were showcased from the top watchmaker brands in the world, with a selection of over 100 tourbillons. The partnership with the brand community to secure such exquisite pieces to showcase to VIP customers really raises the bar higher each year with the consecutive successes of Masters of Time. GMT XXL World will be there.