While September 2018 showed a (slight and isolated) fall in exports of Swiss Watches, the FH – Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry – reports that “industry exports have reverted to the sustained trend reported previously“. With a total of just under Swiss Francs 2 billion (1.987 billion precisely), exports of Swiss Watches were 7.2% higher this year than in October 2017. Over ten months, the result has remained at +7.5%, in line with the annual forecasts. While not tremendous results, the situation seems to be rather optimistic for 2018.
Even though numbers show a rise in value, the situation is rather different when it comes to the volume of watches. If the value is up by over 7%, the number of watches that Switzerland has exported is down by 9.8% in October 2018, with a total of 2,117,000 units that have left the country. If the value is up but the volume is down, this means that the average price per watch is more important than in the past years. The largest growth is registered in the > CHF 3,000 category.
“Bimetal” watches (steel-and-gold) are the only category with a subsequent change in volume and in value; +24.5% of watches and an increase of 10.6% of the value. This shows a growing interest for two-tone pieces (and probably a certain disinterest for full precious metal timepieces).
As for the geographic breakdown of Swiss Watch exports in October 2018, we can see that Hong Kong remains the largest market to date and that its growth, engaged for now over a year, seems to be sustainable – something important when you know how dependent watch brands are on China and HK. The Chinese market is still on an massive rising trend in October 2018 (+24%) and the American market is still strong.