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With morning comes light
Point of View

With morning comes light

Tuesday, 18 January 2011
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Franco Cologni
President of the FHH Cultural Council

“Talent demands effort, dedication and hours spent perfecting a gesture which, day by day, becomes a gift.”

An entrepreneur at heart, though a man of letters, Franco Cologni was quick to embark on a business career that would lead him to key roles within the Richemont Group.

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2 min read
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Whenever we chat about what’s “in the air,” inevitably talk turns to the weather and the changing climate, not just where we live but on all five continents. As the poet says, “with morning comes light” and morning, for me, is the year 2010 which just ended for Swiss watchmaking, an industry that is active across all four corners of the globe.

While waiting for the final figures, I’ll wet my finger and see which way the wind blows… and whether it blows hot or cold. It tells me that Swiss watchmaking is on a road that should rapidly lead to the record levels of 2008.

I’ve backed up this theory by extrapolating for December the 22% growth in value that wristwatch exports recorded for the first eleven months of the year. This little exercise gives export sales of Swiss watches well in excess of CHF 15 billion in 2010. As a reminder, 2008, that record year, ended with exports worth CHF 15.8 billion.

 

There can be only one conclusion: 2011 could well beat the record that just a few years ago some thought improbable. And the Fine Watch segment should make a major contribution with growth already considerably above the average for 2010, particularly in the CHF 3,000 to CHF 6,000 price ranges (export prices).

What also strikes me as I look at statistics per continent, which are more revealing than figures per country, is that the weight of sales outside Switzerland is shifting towards the Far East. According to figures from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, this part of the world has continued to gain market share and now accounts for 37% of watch exports. Add to this purchases made by people travelling from these countries, China in particular, and we see that one out of two buyers of Swiss watches is now Chinese, Korean, Malaysian, Thai…

“With morning comes light” that will surely illuminate 2011!

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