Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thais have a taste for Swiss watches


Thais rank among the world's top buyers of Swiss watches and demand is growing despite political and economic uncertainties.

Narun Thamavaranukup, managing director of PMT The Hour Glass, a luxury watch importer and distributor, said Thais who visit Switzerland are among the top-five buyers of luxury watches there.

''This has gone on for over 10 years and the trend will continue,'' Mr Narun said.

Thais also spend a lot on luxury watches at home. The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said exports of Swiss watches to Thailand in the first half of this year were worth 138 million Swiss francs (4.41 billion baht), up 22% year-on-year.

Thailand now ranks 14th among major countries that import watches from Switzerland.

Yuwadee Chirathivat, president of Central Department Stores Ltd (CDS), Thailand's largest retail chain, agreed with Mr Narun.

''Though the Thai economy is not good, demand for luxury watches, particularly Swiss-made ones, continues to grow every year at a double-digit rate,'' she said.

''This is because people buy watches not only for functional use but also as an investment to pass on to their children.''

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