Swiss watch exports suffered their biggest quarterly decline in Q3 of 2015 since 2009.
According to data from the Federations of the Swiss Watch Industry, September showed a marked decline in Swiss watch exports at 1.8 billion francs, down 7.9% compared to the same month last year.
This is the latest in a string of bad news stories for the Swiss economy, coming after the Swiss National Bank’s surprise decision in January to allow the Swiss franc to trade freely with the euro and China’s central bank devaluing the yuan by 1.9% in August.
Unsurprisingly, Asia continues to be the main cause of concern, with exports to powerhouses China and Hong Kong down 13% and 18.2% respectively.
Steel and precious metal watches performed particularly badly, with the volume of steel watches exported down by 10.6% and precious metal timepieces down by 9.7%.
Although this latest downturn has affected all price segments, the biggest effects were felt in the sub-500 francs (export price) category, particularly between 200 and 500 francs. In this price sector, an 18.3% decrease in units shipped translated into a worrying 14.5% decline in value.
One key silver lining is the ongoing steady performance of Europe, which recorded its tenth consecutive month of growth, with almost all European countries contributing to this net positive result.