Swiss watch exports ended a rein of steady increases last month as September’s figures registered a drop for the first time in 30 months, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.
The value of exports dropped 2.7% year on year to CHF1.7 billion in September, led by a poor performance from bi-metallic watches. Conversely, steel and gold watches delivered positive sales.
The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said that, due to the steady increases over the past two years, last month’s dip was “not therefore cause for concern”. It added: “It confirms the expected slowdown in growth and aligns the industry with its general progression towards the projected annual target, which will remain well above the level attained in 2011.”
September’s downturn is attributable to watches costing less than CHF 3,000 at export price. This sector fell 10.8% in value and 10.7% in volume.
Meanwhile sales of timepieces costing more than CHF3,000, which generated more than 60% of total value, rose 3.7% compared to September 2011.
Asian markets were most affected by the downturn with Hong Kong, China and Singapore recording some of the steepest declines leading The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry to describe growth in the region as “clearly losing its momentum”. The US also registered a downturn, albeit less marked.
In contrast, Europe continued to bounce back. While France increased by only a few points, Italy and Germany recorded significant upturns. Other growth regions included Japan and the Middle East.