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Far East Slowdown Hits Swiss Watch Exports

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ANTHONY DEMARCO • 23-08-2023

Swiss watch exports decreased slightly in July amid sluggish demand in China and Singapore.

Shipments of timepieces fell 0.9% year on year to CHF 2.2 billion ($2.5 billion) for the month, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported Tuesday.

Supply to China, the number-two market for Swiss timepieces, declined 17% year on year to CHF 262.9 million ($298.7 million). Exports to Singapore, the sixth-largest destination, slid 7% to CHF 130.5 million ($148.2 million).

The remainder of the top six markets showed significant increases. The US saw a 5% rise to CHF 340 million ($386.3 million). Hong Kong continued its momentum from June, advancing 6% to CHF 182.3 million ($207.1 million). Rounding out the group were Japan and the UK, which both saw growth of 6%.

In mainland Europe, Germany gained, while France and Italy lost ground.

Watches in most price categories had minor variations. Only the CHF 500 to CHF 3,000 ($569 to $3,408) range experienced a significant drop, with exports down 12%. This segment represents around a fifth of all watch exports, the federation said.

During the first seven months of 2023, Swiss watch exports grew 10% year on year to CHF 15.53 billion ($17.68 billion).


Main image: Luxury watches in a store at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan, in 2018. (Shutterstock)

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