In August, Swiss watch exports recorded a further increase, resuming growth after the slight decline in July. This upturn was mainly driven by the United States, while shipments to China fell sharply.
A breath of fresh air for the Swiss watch industry. In August, exports of Swiss watches rose by 4% to 1.8 billion Swiss francs. Between January and August, shipments rose by 9.2%, totaling 17.3 billion Swiss francs, as reported in a press release from the Fédération horlogère suisse (FH).
“This development confirms the normalization of growth expected in the second half of the year, which should lead the industry towards a less sustained but still significant increase compared to 2022,” commented the Federation.
The United States, the main destination for Swiss watches, recorded an increase of 13.5% to 297.8 million Swiss francs.
By contrast, exports to China, the second most important destination, fell by 27.3% to 190.2 million Swiss francs, continuing the negative trend of July.
“This downturn is due to a timid market recovery in a difficult economic context, as well as to an unfavorable base effect induced by catch-up purchases observed last summer following the long confinement of Shanghai,” explained the Fédération horlogère.
Hong Kong recorded a 29% increase to 146.3 million Swiss francs. The United Kingdom and France both posted increases of 14%.
Sales of steel watches rebound
While Swiss watch exports have been on a downward trend over the years, mainly due to growing competition from smartwatches, August marked an exception with a 4.5% improvement, driven largely by steel watches.
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Featured photo : ©Richemont