Swiss watch exports to the US recover in August

Visitors walk passt the stand of Japanese watchmaker Citizen during the press day on the eve of the opening of the Baselworld watch and jewellery show on March 22, 2017 in Basel in Switzerland. The world’s biggest watch fair will open in Switzerland this week, even as slumping exports of luxury Swiss timepieces appear to dash hopes of a market rebound. / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

The value of Swiss watch exports to the USA bounced back a healthy 9% during August, leaving experts to hail the “sustained recovery” observed since the start of the year.

After a quiet July, the market recovered well to rack up export sales of CHF153.6m ($157m), reaffirming its position as the second largest watch-buying nation behind Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, China and Japan all saw improvements of between 10% and 19% year-on-year during the month, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

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Overall exports of Swiss watches rose 5.5% year-on-year in August to CHF1.5 billion ($1.53 billion), remaining close to the value it saw in July.

The cumulative figure for watch industry exports since January now stands at CHF13.8 billion ($14.1 billion).

Watches priced at less than CHF500 ($512) reported a significant downturn in August, in terms of both value (-10%) and number of pieces (-9%). Above the CHF500 mark, the value of exported timepieces rose by 8%.

Precious metal and bimetal watches reported higher than average growth. Products in steel also made a significant contribution to the overall increase in value, despite a weaker advance (+3%). Volumes were lower, especially for the other metals and other materials categories.

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