The world’s most prestigious Gizmo

November 1, 2005 It has been around for 140 years and was arguably the world’s first high tech Gizmo, has had 100% penetration of the powerful and wealthy for a century and with identical functionality its price varies wildly between US$5 and US$500,000. At the elite end of the scale, it remains one of the very few high technology items that retains and indeed increases its value. A survey of America’s wealthiest people recently rated the most prestigious luxury brands in this category …

It is, of course, a wrist watch, and while many other luxury watch brands have much higher awareness among the wealthy, Jaeger-Le Coultre was recently rated the most prestigious luxury brand in America in a Luxury Institute survey.

"Jaeger-Le Coultre earned a very high score of 78 and edged out Rolex for the top spot," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "Jaeger Le Coultre's top rating is important because the brand competes in a very crowded category that has many highly rated brands. Wealthy consumers who know the brand rated Jaeger-LeCoultre by far the most unique and exclusive brand.

The brand also achieved the highest rating as a watch used by those people who are admired and respected by the wealthy. The Luxury Institute has now rated more than 300 luxury brands across more than 15 categories with thousands of wealthy and ultra-wealthy consumers in 2005.

"We have been successful in developing objective and independent customer-centric performance metrics for the luxury goods and services industry, to the benefit of consumers and the luxury goods and services firms that truly believe in customer relationships. Leading edge luxury firms have embraced, and learned from, the ratings."

The proprietary Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) is the only measure available of the value and equity of leading luxury brands to wealthy Americans, based on statistically meaningful data collected from wealthy consumers themselves. The LBSI incorporates four main "pillars" of value: consistently superior quality, exclusivity, a measure of enhanced social status, and a measure of the ability of a brand to make a customer "feel special". Seven point scale ratings are converted to a 0-100 scale. Another two highly critical metric features of the research are a rating by wealthy consumers as to the brand's worthiness of a price premium and a measure erosion or enhancement as a luxury brand over the past 12 months.

Using LBSI, the Luxury Institute surveyed a nationally representative valid and reliable statistical sample of more than 430 households with a minimum of $200,000 in gross annual income and minimum net worth of at least $750,000 (including home equity).

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