Watch exports fell 3.1 percent in January

Growth in Swiss watch exports slowed in January and rose by just 3.1 percent to 1.9 billion Swiss francs (almost 2 billion euros) after three years of uninterrupted records, the Fédération de l’industrie horlogère Suisse announced on Tuesday.

Growth was again driven by watches with a factory price of over 3,000 Swiss francs, with exports of these luxury watches increasing by 4.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

Despite a high comparison basis, watch exports to the USA rose by 2.2 percent. The United States has become the largest market for Swiss watchmakers since recovering from the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Exports to China also rose 5 percent in January ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations. With the exception of Hong Kong, where exports fell 4.7 percent, exports were positive in most Asian markets, the watch association pointed out in a press release.

In Europe, exports to Great Britain rose by 2.9 percent and to France by 8.7 percent, while to Germany they fell by 11.4 percent.

Last month, watch exports to Qatar increased by 118.4 percent, due to the numerous events in Qatar this year, including the jewelry and watch fair held in Doha in early February, the watch association explains in the press release.

After a drastic drop in 2020 when stores were closed, watch exports rebounded strongly, breaking record after record for three years in a row. In 2023 they reached a new high and grew by a further 7.6 percent to 26.7 billion Swiss francs. (AFP)

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