News Thursday, September 20th 2012
The month of August saw a significant rise in Swiss watch exports. They attained a value of 1.5 billion francs, an increase of 12.7% compared to last year. Cumulative growth over the first two thirds of the year has maintained its momentum at a high level (+16.0%).
Source: Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH
Gold watches remained the principal driving force of this growth thanks to their very pronounced upturn. Bimetallic timepieces registered a decline however. Taking all materials together, the number of timepieces exported fell slightly while remaining at a level comparable to the excellent year of 2011. Bimetallic watches and the category of other materials lost ground.
Not all of the different price segments showed the same trend in August however they confirmed the tendencies outlined in previous months. Watches costing less than 200 francs (export price) fell in volume terms by 5.0%. The 200-500 francs category produced a good result with an increase of more than 10%. Between 500 and 3,000 francs, the result continued to weaken with a slight downturn. Timepieces costing more than 3,000 francs posted a very high increase in value terms (+21.5%).
Watch exports to Hong Kong and the United States recorded exactly the same rate of growth, very close to the sector average. After two months of decline China returned to the black, albeit to a minor extent. The main European markets registered considerable increases, with France and Germany leading the way. Showing a marked decline in August, Singapore brought up the rear. ■