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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

| By Xavier Markl | 1 min read |

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.

Source: Federation of the Swiss watch industry

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.

Source: Federation of the Swiss watch industry

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.

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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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