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Hong Kong Recovery Buoys Swiss Watch Exports

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LEAH MEIROVICH • 23-07-2023

Swiss watch exports increased sharply in June amid the strongest Hong Kong demand experienced in nearly six years.

Shipments of timepieces jumped 14% year on year to CHF 2.45 billion ($2.82 billion) for the month, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported last week. The increase marked a full half year of monthly growth.

“Swiss watch exports showed no sign of weakness in June — quite the opposite,” the federation said. “Hong Kong ended the first half at a very steady pace, returning to values close to those seen in 2017 for the first six months of the year.”

Supply to the municipality surged 46% to CHF 210.7 million ($243.3 million), up from its 10% rise in May, as tourists continued to return following the lifting of government restrictions on travel. Shipments to the US grew 9% to CHF 353.5 million ($408.2 million), slowing slightly from the previous month, but still at a “high level,” the organization noted. Chinese orders increased 9% to CHF 256.3 million ($296 million). Europe had mixed results, with France, Italy, and Germany gaining, while the UK, Spain, and the Netherlands lost ground.

Watches in all price categories advanced. Items valued under CHF 200 ($231) rose 10% year on year, and those between CHF 200 and CHF 500 ($577) were up 19%. Timepieces priced from CHF 500 to CHF 3,000 ($3,465) increased 8%. Meanwhile, exports of watches worth over CHF 3,000 climbed 16%.

During the first half of the year, Swiss watch exports grew 12% year on year to CHF 13.33 billion ($15.39 billion).


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Main image: A Swiss watch on display. (Shutterstock)

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