Swiss watches see highest growth in six years


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%.

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Source Rapaport

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