Swiss watch exports are said to be back on par with the yearly average, having increased 13.2% last month, following a downturn in September.
Figures from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FHS) show that last month’s exports totalled CHF2.1 billion (£1.4bn), with gold and steel watches helping to buoy growth in equal proportions. Gold watch exports were up 16.1%, with export figures totalling 55,500. Steel watch exports jumped 14% with more than 1.5 million timepieces exported.
Bi-metallic models continue to be sluggish following September’s drop, registering a below-average increase.
The number of timepieces exported also followed the trend of recent months, with a negative balance in relation to October 2011, due mainly to the category of “other materials and other metals”, such as titanium.
A 10.3% decline in volumes affected watches costing less than CHF200 (£133) at export price. The FHS said this was partially offset by other segments that exhibited a positive result compared to October 2011, including the CHF200 to CHF500 (£133 to £333) category, which recorded an 18.1% increase in volume terms.
Those watches priced between CHF500 and CHF3,000 (£333 to £2,000) displayed an export volume upturn of 6%, while timepieces over the CHF3,000 (£2,000) mark recorded the steepest rise in export value, jumping 17.1%.
International exports remain relatively modest, with the Chinese market continuing to slow. The FHS said: “Performances on the three main markets for Swiss watch exports were below average. Hong Kong and the United States recorded modest increases, while China clearly lost ground.
“Most other markets registered strong growth. Germany and Italy set the tone in Europe, while France, in seventh place, saw its level fall by 2.8%. In Asia, a sharp upturn was also evident in most countries, with the exception of Singapore, which fell 2.8%.”