Swiss watch industry enjoys increase in exports

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

More countries are interested in Swiss watches again.

The watchmaking industry in Switzerland is enjoying an upturn in its fortunes after a long period of relatively stagnant growth.

According to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH), the value of Swiss watches being exported increased to $1.51 billion in August, representing the 16th straight month of growth.

Furthermore, all six of the biggest markets for the products demonstrated growth. Exports to Singapore were up by 25 per cent; China showed growth of 18.6 per cent; Hong Kong was up by 14.5 per cent; Japan bought 9.9 per cent more watches; US exports grew by nine per cent; and exports to the UK increased 0.6 per cent.

The value of Swiss watches to global markets has gone up by a total of 9.5 per cent during the first eight months of this year when compared to the same period in 2017.

This news is sure to be welcome among watchmakers in Switzerland, as a 24-month downturn in growth had been recorded prior to these new figures.

During the decline, many manufacturers had begun to create new collections in their entry level price ranges in an attempt to tempt buyers who perhaps might not have been able to afford the top timepieces.

This may also have encouraged importers in various countries to buy in Swiss watches as stock in their jewellery collections to sell on.

However, the new data states that it was watches in the $500 to $3,000 price range that saw the biggest uptick in exports for 2018.

Watches are Switzerland's third biggest export after chemicals and machines. The country has long been known for its prowess in creating a range of timepieces, from high-tech ceramic designs to classic mechanical or quartz multi-function chronometers.

According to the FH, the Swiss watch industry is present on five continents and exports 95 per cent of what it produces. The top 15 markets account for more than 80 per cent of exports.