Watch Focus

Swiss watch exports slip 12.3% in October

Swiss watch exports fell 12.3% in October compared with the same month last year, according to new figures from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH).

The report found that exports of Swiss watches scraped past the 2bn Swiss francs (£1.3bn) mark, a level that FH said has traditionally been easily exceeded. It follows steep declines in September.

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Precious metal and steel watches fell substantially, both in terms of demand and in value. Precious metal watches fell 18.5% in terms of units sold and 11.9% in value, while the value steel watches fell 11.7% and exports dropped 14.3%.

All price segments reported declines during the month, although this was a little less pronounced for the categories below 200 francs (£128) and between 500 (£321) and 3,000 francs (£1931), where exports fell 7.2% and 7.1% respectively.

Watches between 200 (£128) and 500 francs (£321) and above 3,000 francs (£1931) recorded downturns in excess of 13%.

While fewer working days may have affected the figures, FH said the poor results stem from poor performances in the principal markets of Asia and the United States.

Hong Kong continued its downward trend, reporting its largest decline in exports of the year with a fall of 38.5%, while exports to the United States also slipped by 12.2%. Despite this, France and the UK fared better, with growth of 7.1% and 11.5% respectively.

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