A very good start to the year for Swiss watchmaking
The year began well for Swiss watch exports, which have not yet been affected by the coronavirus epidemic in China. In January, Switzerland exported the equivalent of 1.8 billion francs, which represents a 9.4% increase compared with 2019. The number of items, however, still continues on a downward trend, despite a clearly favourable base effect. Watches priced at over 500 francs (export price) grew strongly in January, both by value and the number of items. Below this threshold, the trend remained negative, particularly for watches priced at under 200 francs. Most markets maintained a steady pace during the first month of the year, including the United States (+15.2%), China (+6.9%), Japan (+14.9%), Singapore (+23.1%) and South Korea (+41.1%). Hong Kong was ranked second (-25.0%), posting its fourth consecutive month of very sharp decline. The United Kingdom (-13.9%), the largest market in Europe, suffered from an unfavourable base effect and also fell significantly.