Grand Seiko eyes sales boost

Grand Seiko, the luxury watch brand of Japanese giant Seiko Watch Corporation, is aggressively eyeing sales volumes of at least 1,000 units in two-three years, targeting the billionaires, millionaires and the rich and famous in the country. “In terms of value, we are targeting sales of about Rs 50 to Rs 60 crore from our luxury Seiko brand watches in India in two-three years,” Susumu Kawa­nishi, senior vice-president at Seiko Watch Corporation, told Financial Chronicle.

The brand opened its eighth store in Pune last weekend. It sells imported Japanese luxury watches with a starting price of Rs 3.80 lakh and goes up to Rs 42 lakh for the top-end collection. “We are retailing quartz, spring drive and mechanical calibre luxury watches in India,” Kawanishi said, adding that each of these would have 50 variants each on offer.

He said Grand Seiko watches are the most advanced practical watches in the world. “And India is witnessing a growth in the luxury watch segment and we are here for a long haul,” Kawanishi said, adding that the company is in investment mode without disclosing value. Kawanishi further said the brand has 80 exclusive boutique stores in international markets.

Despite an import duty of about 22-23 per cent, he said the luxury watch segment in India is clocking 30 per cent growth annually whereas mass market watch is growing at single digit.

“The luxury watch segment in India is growing faster than the mass market, even the premium watch segment with prices starting from Rs 25,000,” said Niladri Mazumder, president and COO at Seiko Watch India. In India, Grand Seiko competes with global giants Rolex and Omega, luxury watch brands from Switzerland. Seiko Watch India is the fully-owned subsidiary of 3 billion Euro Seiko Holdings Corp, which is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange. This year Grand Seiko opened its first exclusive franchise boutique store in Bangalore and later in New Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.

“We plan to add 8-10 stores by the end of this financial year to aggressively tap the growing luxury watch market in the country,” Mazumder said.

He said Grand Seiko’s customers are self-made individuals and self assured men and women with an international exposure. “Our clients are traditionally rich but they are not loud in wearing our luxury watches,” Mazumder pointed out. He said the clients included presidents, MDs, CEOs, CFOs of companies, and entrepreneurs and successful businessmen and women in the country.

Michael Gonsalves