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Swiss Watch Exports Surge on US, China Demand

Aug 22, 2021 7:28 AM   By Rapaport News
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Swiss watch exports skyrocketed to well above pre-pandemic levels in July amid increased domestic spending in the US and China.

Global shipments rose 8% compared to the same month of 2019, reaching CHF 2.05 billion ($2.23 billion), the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said last week. Exports jumped 29% year on year, reflecting a favorable comparison with the Covid-19 downturn in July 2020, when sales were driven almost exclusively by China.

“Very strong growth in the US made it the leading market in July and underlined the importance of the recovery there, which was probably buoyed by domestic consumption of some items that would have been purchased abroad before the crisis,” the federation noted. “China continued to perform strongly for the same reasons.”

Supply to the US grew 49% versus July 2019 to CHF 284.9 million ($310.6 million), while China saw a 75% increase to CHF 266.3 million ($290.3 million). Those gains, along with a return to growth in the UK, France and Germany, outweighed pandemic-related declines in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Italy.

Exports of timepieces valued at more than CHF 3,000 ($3,270) jumped 14% relative to July 2019, and those in the CHF 500 ($545) to CHF 3,000 range rose 3.4%. Orders of watches costing CHF 200 ($218) to CHF 500 plunged 21%, while those valued under CHF 200 slid 15%.

Image: A Swiss watch display in a store in Geneva, Switzerland. (Shutterstock)
Tags: COVID-19, Federation of the Swiss ‎Watch Industry, Rapaport News, Swiss watch exports
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