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Swiss watchmaking in December 2011: excellent year end
Economy

Swiss watchmaking in December 2011: excellent year end

Thursday, 02 February 2012
Press Release
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Watch exports remained at a very high level in December 2011, despite an unfavourable base effect. They recorded a strong increase (+21.0%) to attain a level of 1.9 billion francs. For the year as a whole, the value of watch exports achieved a new record of 19.3 billion francs, surpassing the 2010 result by 19.2%.

In December, the main materials showed an upward trend. Watches manufactured from precious metals showed the strongest gains, while steel fell just short of a two-digit increase. In volume terms, steel remained stable. Gold timepieces were particularly buoyant. The categories of other metals and other materials also contributed to the general increase.

© Fédération de l'industrie horlogère suisse FH

Growth in the number of wristwatches in December was proportional to their price. Watches costing less than 200 francs (export price) recorded a slight downturn in volume terms, with their value stable in relation to December 2010. Between 200 and 3,000 francs, value increased by 10.4%. Timepieces costing more than 3,000 francs proved most dynamic with an increase of 27.1% by value and 20.5% by volume.

© Fédération de l'industrie horlogère suisse FH

Strong overall growth was apparent in many markets. Hong Kong, the United States and China did better than average, with rates of increase in excess of 20%. Benefiting from a favourable base effect and very strong demand, Singapore more than doubled its monthly value. The main European markets generally recorded below-average performances: France rose by a few points, Italy (+17.6%) produced the best result, and Germany (+8.0%) remained in decline. In sixth position, Japan continued its gradual recovery.

© Fédération de l'industrie horlogère suisse FH
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