Final scores for best year ever for Swiss watch exports in 2019


With coronavirus scaring the bejesus out of the luxury Swiss watch industry, memories of a record-breaking 2019 are fading fast.

But the Swiss watch industry — or at least the part of it without shareholders breathing down its neck — is masterful at taking a long term view, so it should be noted and remembered that 2019 was another solid, if unremarkable year.

According to the Federation of Swiss Watch Industry, global exports in 2019 increased by 2.6% to CHF 21.7 billion; the strongest year in history; finally topping the previous record year of 2015.


Despite six months of street protests, Hong Kong was the largest market in the world once again, with exports worth CHF 2.7 billion. The United States was second with CHF 2.4 billion and China third at CHF 2.0 billion.

Exports to the United Kingdom rose by 10.8% to a record CHF 1.4 billion, making it the fifth largest market in the world for Swiss watches, just behind Japan, which benefited from the Hong Kong protests and increased by 20% to CHF 1.6 billion.



  1. Encouraging news for the export sector of the industry! Analyzed together with the retail sell out in key markets, we can gain a fuller, clearer picture about the state of the global industry. Reflecting for a moment, we all know the dangers of one-sided thinking, having recently witnessed what happens when there is a glut of product on the retailer side of the equation. Fortunately, there exists today Thierry Huron’s Mercury Project, which reports on retail sell-out in 10 key markets. No one should now be uninformed on the relative health of the watch industry. See http://www.mercuryproject.ch


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