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European Demand for Swiss Watches Declines

Mar 18, 2021 5:53 AM   By Rapaport News
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Swiss watch exports fell slightly in February as a drop in demand from Europe outweighed a rebound in other countries.               

Global shipments slid 0.3% year on year to CHF 1.6 billion ($1.73 billion) during the month, with exports to Europe down 14%. Supply to the UK declined 7% to CHF 96.1 million ($103.8 million) as many businesses remained on lockdown and the country battled a more severe coronavirus variant, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said Thursday.

“Swiss watch exports...continued to recover...but they still have not returned to a growth trend due to the marked differences between the various markets,” the federation noted. “The European market as a whole...has remained very negative.”

The top three markets for Swiss watches showed a strong recovery as the vaccine rollout strengthened consumer sentiment. Supply to the US increased 9% to CHF 223.9 million ($241.7 million), the first growth in 11 months.

Exports to China soared 161% to CHF 191.4 million ($206.7 million), benefiting from a favorable comparison with 2020, as the first wave of the pandemic halved export figures during the same period a year ago. Shipments to Hong Kong rose 9% to CHF 155.9 million ($168.3 million).

Some lower-priced watches saw a sharp rebound, reversing the trend from previous months. Orders of timepieces valued between CHF 200 and CHF 500 ($216 and $540) jumped 14%, while those over CHF 500 remained stable. Exports of watches priced under CHF 200 fell 17%.

Image: A display of Swiss watches at a store. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Federation of the Swiss ‎Watch Industry, Rapaport News, swiss watch, Swiss watch exports
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