Swiss watch exports have stayed in line with the trend apparent in the fourth quarter of 2015. In January 2016, their value totalled 1.5 billion francs, a fall of 7.9% compared to a year ago. An unfavourable environment continues to hold back results in the sector.
Steel and bimetallic watches curtailed value, with downturns in excess of 10%. In volume terms, the decline was even more marked. The month of January saw volumes fall by 300,000 units. The categories of other materials and other metals lost ground sharply.
All main price segments recorded significant declines. Watches costing more than 500 francs (export price) set the trend in value terms. Less expensive timepieces had the greater effect on volumes.
The two leading markets for Swiss watch exports were responsible almost exclusively for the global downturn. Hong Kong signed off on its twelfth consecutive month of steep decline, with -33.1%. The United States also extended its poor showing, recording its fifth negative month (-13.7%). After two months of growth, China registered a slight downturn (-1.9%). Not all markets failed to impress however. Japan made very good progress (+35.8%), as did the main European markets, including France (+4.7%).