The value growth in April was mainly attributable to gold watch exports. Bimetal watches also contributed, while steel products experienced their first fall in more than two years. The number of pieces exported turned out to be stable: rising quantities of watches in some materials were offset by falling volumes in others.
Timepieces costing less than 500 francs (export price) were relatively close to the branch average in April. On the other hand, the 500-3000 francs category penalised the global result: down 7.7% in value terms and 3.7% in the number of pieces. Sales of watches costing more than 3000 francs continued to make strong headway with marked growth in both volume (+7.7%) and value (+16.1%). During the first four months of the year, all the segments reported growth, but the luxury category stood out with rates close to +20%.
The main markets showed mixed trends in April. While Hong Kong set the general tone, the United States reported a fall, notably because of a highly unfavourable base effect. China remained one of the most dynamic markets. In Europe, France and Italy recorded a fall, while Germany, in seventh position, experienced monthly growth of 24.0%.