Swiss watch exports rose in October as increased orders from the US, China and Japan outweighed a significant drop in Hong Kong.
Shipments grew 1.5% year on year to CHF 2.03 billion ($2.04 billion).
“Overall growth was hindered by [a] very marked decline in Hong Kong, while the rest of the world generally saw an upturn,” the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said Tuesday. Unrest in the municipality has increasingly affected the market, with the impact on export growth totaling five percentage points during the month, the federation added.
Pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong — one of the Swiss watch industry’s largest markets — have intensified since June, leading to a slowdown in tourism to the city, and denting luxury sales.
Exports to Hong Kong plunged 30% to CHF 191.3 million ($192.9 million), in contrast to 10% growth in October 2018. However, the decline was offset by an upswing in the US, which increased 10% to CHF 227.5 million ($229.4 million), and an 18% rise in supply to China to CHF 218.4 million ($220.3 million). Shipments to Japan climbed 11% to CHF 146.1 million ($147.4 million).
Timepieces worth more than CHF 3,000 ($3,025) were the only price category that saw an increase in shipments, going up 6% by value. Exports of watches between CHF 500 ($504) and CHF 3,000 slipped 3.3%, while those valued from CHF 200 ($202) to CHF 500 decreased 9%. Shipments of products priced under CHF 200 slid 5%.