British luxury watch market on fire as imports from Switzerland surge 13.4%


The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry’s monthly export sales tracker reveals that sales to the UK increased by 13.4% in July.

Italy was the only other country in the top 10 largest export markets for Swiss watches to report a rise in sales. Exports to the USA fell 14.7%, Hong Kong was down 32.7%, and France fell 27.8%.

Overall, global exports of Swiss watches slumped 14.2% since July 2015 and 21.7% since July 2014.


The spike in exports places the UK sixth in the league table of importers of Swiss watches, overtaking China and Germany. It was only CHF 2 million behind Japan in July, which is currently the fourth largest export market for Swiss watches.

The strength of exports to the UK in July has been achieved despite the weakness of the pound against the Swiss franc. Imports of Swiss watches worth CHF 110.2 in July cost trade buyers in this country £87 million.

A year ago, with the pound around 12% stronger against the Swiss franc, it would have cost just £75 million. That means that in sterling terms, imports of Swiss watches have risen by more like 16% year-on-year.

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