In July, Swiss watch industry exports reported growth for the third month in a row. Their value was 3.6% higher than in July 2016 at 1.7 billion francs. Recovery of the year on year trend therefore continued, steadily approaching the forecast stabilization.
Watches in precious metals and steel made a strong contribution to the overall growth in value while other materials, such as bimetal products, declined. Volumes remained stable overall. The increase for timepieces made of steel offset the decline in the Other metals and Other materials categories.
Running against the trend for several months, watches priced at less than 200 francs (export price) posted a substantial fall in July. The decline in the number of pieces (-14.7%) had a determining effect on the total, while their value fell even more steeply (-18.2%). The other price segments reported growth, especially for timepieces priced above 500 francs.
Watch exports to Hong Kong (+16.8%) benefited from a very favourable base effect to achieve sustained growth and a further recovery of their medium-term trend. With variation rates close to zero in recent months, the United States (+1.4%) slightly corrected the negative trend reported for almost two years. China (+22.3%) saw no particular change and continued to achieve strong growth. In Europe, despite several lower results, France (-1.7%), Italy (-14.3% after two very good months) and Germany (+13.4%) were the leading trio at the expense of the United Kingdom (-8.5%) which saw its first fall of the year.