The recovery of Swiss watchmaking slowly continues
While the trend in Swiss watch exports is still down, the initial shock is gradually being absorbed as sales have recovered over the last few months. In August, the sector shipped the equivalent of 1.3 billion francs abroad, 11.9% down on the previous year. Eight months into the year, watch exports are 30.5% lower than for the same period in 2019. In August, the number of exported watches fell by 31.4%, to 1.1 million units. Overall, and in terms of exports, the markets were difficult for Swiss watchmaking, except for China (+44.9%), which grew very strongly for the third month in a row. The recovery can be explained in part by an increase in domestic purchases, as fewer items are bought abroad. The corollary is that purchases have continued to fall in Europe and several Asian markets, with watch exports declining by 20.5% in Europe and 24.5% in Japan. The Middle East also stood out in August. Swiss watch exports grew by 8.3% in the United Arab Emirates and by 26.5% in Saudi Arabia. Of the main direct destinations for watch exports, the United States saw a slight fall of 4%, after a stable month in July.