The latest report from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry shows the country’s watch exports have remained stable, despite one fewer working day than in August 2012 and a decrease in shipments to China.
The monthly value of watches amounted to CHF 1.5 billion (£1.03 billion), an increase of 0.5 percent from a year ago. Two thirds of the way through the year, the cumulative value stands at CHF 13.8 billion (£9.5 billion), for a rise of 1.1 percent. This figure represents consolidation at a high level for the sector, which continues to grow, though slowly.
The Swiss watch industry’s three primary markets experienced moderate declines in August, which appears to indicate stabilisation for Hong Kong and a modest rebound for China. In the US, growth is continuing to slow gradually, though Singapore, Japan and Germany all had significant upturns. The ranking also differed, with France (-36.4 percent) falling to seventh place and Italy (+1.9 percent) taking ninth place. The value of watches exported to the UK was CHF 66 million (£45.47 million), signifying a 26.4 percent increase over 2012.
Steel timepieces remained level with the general trend, while bimetallic and gold watches experienced a small downturn. The number of watch exports rose, primarily due to steel and the category of other materials, but category of other metals fell sharply.
Watches with an export price between CHF200 to 500 (£137-344) saw growth in excess of 15 percent. Adjacent price segments lost ground slightly, while timepieces costing more than CHF 3,000 (£2,066) had an increase of roughly 1 percent.
A recent crackdown on conspicuous spending, lead by the Chinese government in an attempt at quashing corruption, is believed to have negatively impact sales of luxury goods in the country.