The first export figures for Swiss watches in 2019 suggest global demand will be similar in 2019 to last year, with growth in sales to the United States and the United Kingdom far greater than to Asian markets including China and Hong Kong.
Total global exports stood at CHF 1.6 billion in January, 0.2% higher than the same month in 2018.
America closed the gap on Hong Kong, the world’s biggest market for Swiss watches, with exports into the USA rising by 9.1% to CHF 178.1 million in January compared to an increase of only 1.9% to CHF 245.2 million for Hong Kong.
China maintained its position as the world’s third largest market for Swiss watches despite exports dropping by 14.8% to 150.6 million.
The strongest advances were achieved in Japan (+28.8%) and the United Kingdom (+23.6%). Germany (+0.4%) reflected the world average, but the results for France (-11.5%) and Italy (-15.6%) contracted sharply.
Watches priced at less than CHF 500 suffered substantial falls in both volume and value. They were joined, albeit to a lesser extent, by the CHF 500-3,000 price range, which was 4.8% down on January 2018. The positive trend in timepieces priced at more than CHF 3,000, however, ensured stability in the value, though not the total number, of timepieces exported.