While diamonds are getting stiff competition from other luxury goods and jewelry no longer figuring in people’s top wish list and its sales falling behind other goods, there is some respite on the cards. Deloitte’s annual report on Global Powers of Luxury Goods mentions that India’s luxury market is growing, while other BRIC luxury markets are still struggling, and Jewelry and Watches takes the top slot.
During last year, combined turnover of world’s 100 largest luxury goods companies was USD 214.2 billion backed by rebound of US and European economies. In India, Jewelry and watch companies were top performers in the luxury goods segment, capturing second biggest market share. Titan, Gitanjali Gems and PC Jeweller cut through in the Deloitte’s top 100 luxury brands.
As the luxury sector undergoes a metamorphosis of sorts and concept of national boundaries getting faded, Gaurav Gupta – Senior Director, Deloitte India, emphasizes that millennials will represent a significant portion of luxury sales in future and “..the competitive forces driven by technology will continue to disrupt at a faster pace.”
The technological disruption has been carried forward by the uber luxury watchmaker – Ulysse Nardin. Taking a step further to its 2001 Ulysse Nardin Freak watch that has no dials and no hands time display, the company has introduced Ulysse Nardin Freak Lab, which comes with many added features and technological developments. The watch uses a two-wheeled “Dual Ulysse” escapement made of proprietary ‘DiamonSil’ – Lab-grown Diamonds grown on Silicon.
Lab-grown diamonds however are not limited to jewelry and luxury goods usage and being used in numerous applications, the latest being as ideal optical supermaterial by De Beers’ subsidiary – Element Six. Diamonds are now being explored for usage as thermometers. Because of S3 defect coming from the structure, Lab-grown diamonds can be used as nanoscale temperature probe, giving unmatched precision of temperature over time and space. These tiny diamond probes are able to measure temperatures from as low as -153 C degrees to as high as 627 C degrees and detect changes in temperature across small distances of even 5 μm.
Luxury goods market and maybe Jewelry sector too will bounce back once global economy revives but scientific and technological advances will surely change luxury as we know it.