Swiss watch exports to the US recover in August


The value of Swiss watch exports to the USA bounced back a healthy 9% during August, leaving experts to hail the “sustained recovery” observed since the start of the year.

After a quiet July, the market recovered well to rack up export sales of CHF153.6m ($157m), reaffirming its position as the second largest watch-buying nation behind Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, China and Japan all saw improvements of between 10% and 19% year-on-year during the month, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

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Overall exports of Swiss watches rose 5.5% year-on-year in August to CHF1.5 billion ($1.53 billion), remaining close to the value it saw in July.

The cumulative figure for watch industry exports since January now stands at CHF13.8 billion ($14.1 billion).

Watches priced at less than CHF500 ($512) reported a significant downturn in August, in terms of both value (-10%) and number of pieces (-9%). Above the CHF500 mark, the value of exported timepieces rose by 8%.

Precious metal and bimetal watches reported higher than average growth. Products in steel also made a significant contribution to the overall increase in value, despite a weaker advance (+3%). Volumes were lower, especially for the other metals and other materials categories.

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour