Zurich: Swiss watch exports jumped in March as orders from Hong Kong surged after the Chinese territory reopened from harsh Covid restrictions, bolstering strong global demand for luxury timepieces.
Exports climbed 13.8 per cent by value to 2.4 billion Swiss francs ($2.7 billion), with shipments increasing by almost 62 per cent to Hong Kong, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said Tuesday.
Global demand for Swiss luxury timepieces spiked during the pandemic and has remained robust despite economic headwinds. Exports surged to a record of more than 24 billion francs in 2022.
Exports by volume of timepieces also rose during the month. The industry exported almost 300,000 additional watches in one month, an increase of 24 per cent compared with March 2022, for a total of more than 1.5 million.
The number of watches exported priced at less than 200 Swiss francs jumped by 34 per cent, likely driven by the continued popularity of Swatch Group’s Omega MoonSwatch collaboration.
There were, however, signs of cooling in demand from the biggest market for Swiss watches. Growth in exports to the US slowed to a 7.8 per cent increase in March after jumping by almost 16 per cent in February.
Top Swiss watch brand CEOs from Patek Philippe to Oris Watches told Bloomberg this month that there were early signs of a slowdown in demand from consumers and retailers from the unprecedented levels reached during the pandemic.