Swiss Watch Exports Bounce Back Over The First Three Quarters of 2021
Exports up 40.1% versus 2020 and 1% versus 2019, back to pre-Covid levels
Following an annus horribilis in 2020, as exports dropped by 21.8% in value to CHF 17 billion, below their 2011 level, the Swiss watch industry is on track to recover from the Covid-19 hit. The Swiss watch exports grew in again September 2021, following the trend initiated in March 2021. At CHF 1.9 billion, they exceeded the result achieved in September 2020 by 16.6% and by 3.1% the results achieved in September 2019, which might be a more relevant comparison base with the global pandemic. Over the first three quarters of 2021, the total value of Swiss watch exports reached 16.1 billion Swiss francs, up 40.1% versus 2020 and 1% versus 2019.
If exports to nearly all countries are progressing in 2020, the trend is especially strong in China (+45.2% versus 2020, +60.7% versus 2019 – and representing 13.8% of the total export value) and in the USA (+63.2% versus 2020, +25.8% versus 2019 – and representing 13.6% of the total export value). Among other factors, the trend in China is in particular a direct consequence of the restrictions on travel and the reshoring of Chinese luxury consumption.
Deloitte has just released its Swiss Watch Industry Study 2021, reporting that 77% of executives surveyed judge the outlook for the Swiss watch industry as positive for the next year, but they expect growth only in segments of CHF 5,000 (export price) and above.
If prospects are now more positive, and although the pandemic has been a catalyst for a necessary transformation and beneficial changes, the industry still faces serious challenges and needs to further adapt to a changing landscape.
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