Swiss watch exports back on track in April

The month of April saw a marked upturn in Swiss watch exports, although growth varied according to market segment and product category. Precious-metal watches and the more expensive segments fared particularly well, while there were notable declines in other categories.


Swiss watch exports rebounded in April to 2.1 billion Swiss francs, surpassing the April 2023 level by 4.5%, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH).


Despite this overall recovery, year-to-date results show a cumulative decline of 2.6%.


Steel watches were the only segment to record a decline in April, down 2% in value terms to 699.4 million Swiss francs. However, the number of steel watches exported remained relatively stable, with a slight increase of 0.4%.


By contrast, sales of precious metal watches increased in value by 5.9% to 767.9 million Swiss francs. Bimetallic watches also progressed, with a 4.9% increase in value to a total of 345.9 million Swiss francs.


The “other metals” and “other materials” categories posted the strongest increases in value, with growth of 23.7% (137.3 million Swiss francs) and 16.2% (95 million Swiss francs) respectively, despite a drop in the number of pieces exported.


Recovery in high-end watches



The most expensive watches, those exported at over 3,000 Swiss francs, returned to growth in April, with a 7.8% increase in value, although their number fell by 4.2%.


By contrast, the intermediate segment (500-3000 Swiss francs) suffered a significant decline (-10% in value and -7.7% in number of pieces). Watches under 500 Swiss francs were also down 1.3% in value, and 3.8% in number of units exported.


Contrasting export markets


Performance in individual markets varied significantly.


China was the only market to record a decline (-7.5%) compared with April 2023. In contrast, Hong Kong maintained relative stability, with a slight rise of 0.2%. Other Asian markets reported double-digit growth, including South Korea (+27.1%), Japan (+13.6%), Singapore (+12.5%), and the United Arab Emirates (+13.3%).


The United States also posted strong growth of 11.6%. In Europe, overall growth in Swiss watch exports was around the world average, with an increase of 6%. The United Kingdom (+4.6%), Germany (+8.9%), and Italy (+5.3%) recorded notable increases, while France was virtually stagnant at +0.4%.


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Featured photo : © Swatch

Picture of Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet is a young and passionate journalist whose favorite subjects are economy, culture, gastronomy, but also cars, and sports. With a sharp pen and an insatiable curiosity, Hugues is constantly on the lookout for new hot information to report.

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