Swiss watch exports close to a new record in 2023

Despite a slowdown since the summer, Swiss watch exports maintained their dynamism in November. The figures show annual growth propelling Swiss watch exports to 24.6 billion Swiss francs over the first eleven months of the year, closing in on the 2022 record.


Swiss watch exports maintained their upward trajectory in November, although the slowdown observed since the summer continues. In November, the Federation of the Watch Industry (FH) reported year-on-year growth of 3.1%, taking foreign shipments to 2.5 billion Swiss francs.


The Federation points out that this result represents “their highest monthly level” ever achieved by the industry.


Despite fears of economic slowdown and inflation since the summer, the current year could even end with a new all-time record. Over the first eleven months of the year, watch exports rose by a remarkable 7.7% to 24.6 billion Swiss francs. This performance brings the industry closer to its record of 2022, when exports peaked at 24.8 billion Swiss francs.


“There’s still one month to go, with December, so we can already say today that 2023 will be another record year,” said Jean-Daniel Pasche, president of the watchmaking federation.


However, 2023 has brought its share of “disruptive elements”, he points out, including “inflation”, “war in Ukraine and the Middle East” and “concerns about China”, one of Swiss watchmaking’s biggest markets.


Geographical disparities


After a year severely impacted by the pandemic in 2020, the Swiss watchmaking sector recovered quickly, benefiting from savings made by customers during the period of health restrictions.


In November, the USA and Hong Kong were the main drivers of growth in Swiss watch exports, offsetting the downturn in China. In the USA, shipments reached 404.4 million Swiss francs (+0.9%), almost outstripping the combined receipts from Hong Kong (207.6 million, +2.9%) and China (204.1 million, -3.7%).


The UK (+16.7%), Japan (+11.9%) and Singapore (+1.1%) recorded increases, while France (-2.9%) and Italy (-0.3%) saw their imports contract.


Lower volumes


Although Swiss watch exports increased in value, volumes fell by 1.3%. Watches costing less than 200 Swiss francs fared well, with an increase of 0.1% in volume and 1.1% in revenue, thanks to the success of the Swatch brand. By contrast, watches between 200 and 3000 Swiss francs contracted, while those above 3000 Swiss francs underpinned the industry’s performance with a 5% improvement in value.


“November’s figures exceeded the Zurich Cantonal Bank’s expectations,” stresses analyst Patrik Schwendimann.

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Featured photo : © Tissot

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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