Swiss watch exports rose 4.4% to CHF 1.74 billion ($1.72 billion) in March as UK retailers continued to stockpile in preparation for Brexit.
“The UK was a special case once again, because of stockpiling in the run-up to Brexit,” the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported last week. “Other European markets continued to lose ground.”
Exports to the UK rose 76% to CHF 134.7 million ($132.9 million). Asia also showed strong growth for the month, with supply to China climbing 17% to CHF 141.6 million ($139.7 million) and Japan jumping 22% to CHF 137.1 million ($135.3 million). Orders to Hong Kong increased 2.5% to CHF 236.2 million ($233 million), and shipments to the US grew 6% to CHF 187.4 million ($184.8 million).
Top-price watches enjoyed the strongest growth. Orders of watches priced above CHF 3,000 ($2,961) rose 13% by value. Exports of those worth CHF 500 ($493) to CHF 3,000 fell 5%, while those priced between CHF 200 ($197) and CHF 500 slipped 1.7%. Supply of products valued under CHF 200 plunged 25%.