Robust demand for steel watches drove Swiss timepiece exports upward in March, closing off the industry’s strongest quarter of growth in six years.
Worldwide shipments of Swiss timepieces climbed 5% year on year to $1.73 billion (CHF 1.7 billion) last month, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported Tuesday the 24th. Exports to Hong Kong jumped 10% to $234.5 million (CHF 230.3 million), while those to the US climbed 4% to $180.3 million (CHF 177 million). Supply to China dropped 7% to $122.5 million (CHF 120.3 million), the first fall in 18 months.
Exports of steel watches soared 7% to $664.1 million (CHF 652.1 million), while gold and steel timepieces showed moderate growth, increasing 3% to $266.6 million (CHF 261.8 million). Shipments of watches made of precious metals remained flat at $509.6 million (CHF 500.4 million).
Globally, lower-priced pieces faltered, with exports of watches worth under $204 (CHF 200) slipping 8% by value in March, while those priced between $204 and $509 (CHF 500) declined 4%. Shipments of higher-priced timepieces fared better, with those that cost between $509 and $3,055 (CHF 3,000) growing 13%, and those over $3,055 gaining 2%.
Photo © Baselword.