Swiss watch exports rose in September on persistent demand for pricey timepieces, even as shipments to the key US and Chinese markets fell.
Exports rose 3.8 per cent to 2.3 billion francs ($2.6 billion), buoyed by Hong Kong and Japan, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said Thursday. Shipments to the US, which overtook China as the top destination in 2021, fell by 6.4 per cent, while exports to China slid 5.5 per cent.
The monthly increase, the second in a row after exports contracted in July for the first time in more than two years, shows global demand for pricey Swiss timepieces remains strong despite weaker economic growth and inflation pressures on consumers.
Exports to Hong Kong climbed by 24 per cent and shipments to Japan rose by nearly 9 per cent. Exports to the UK increased by 3 per cent, the Federation said. The growth was also fuelled by tourist destinations including Italy and France, Solca said in a note to clients.
Watches priced above 3,000 francs remained the key growth driver, increasing 8.2 per cent by value even as the number of units fell by 3 per cent.
Exports of entry-level priced watches rose 4.3 per cent by value, “boosted by the MoonSwatch success and shipments of the new SwatchxBlancpain collaboration”, Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet said in a note to clients.
Swiss watch exports surged to a record in 2022 of more than 24 billion francs.