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!