Precious metal watches were instrumental in driving up the total value. Steel stagnated and bimetallic timepieces remained close to the average. The number of timepieces exported fell in global terms, due to the decline in the three main groups of materials. The category of other metals recorded a sharp downturn.
Watches costing less than 200 francs (export price) continued to lose ground, albeit less markedly than in previous months. Between 200 and 500 francs a decline was evident in May, which has not been the case for more than a year. However the medium-term trend remains very positive for this segment. The 500- 3,000 francs range produced mixed results, with a rise in volumes accompanied by a fall in value. Finally, only watches costing more than 3,000 francs posted an increase both in volume and value terms.
The five main export markets of the Swiss watch industry showed little change. Hong Kong recorded a slight downturn in value, as did China. For the former, the recovery has taken the form of a return to positive annualised growth. For the latter, the trend is also positive, since the twelve-monthly variation now shows a decline of only -3.9%, up from -12% at the start of the year. The United States, Italy and France gained a few points. Japan once again made a strong showing.