Swiss watch exports up 30% in May

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Gold watches and affordable watches show best sector growth.

Exports of Swiss watches rocketed 30% year on year in May, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

The rise marked the second consecutive month of growth for the Swiss watch industry’s export division. Watch exports in May accounted for CHF1.6 billion (£1.19bn).

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said that gold watches were in demand in May and registered “a very strong performance” in terms of value and volume, up more than 50% in the number of units sold in May last year and up more than 38% in monetary value.

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Steel watches also showed a healthy rise with the volume of unit sales up more than 30% and the value of exports up more than 29% in May versus the same month last year.

Platinum watches remained fairly level on last year but gold-plated silver watches took a tumble with the number of units sold down more than 74% and the value of timepieces sold down more than 35%.

Watches with a wholesale price of less than CHF200 (£149) registered the highest increase, up nearly 40% in both value and volume. Results for the CHF200 to CHF500 (£149 to £373) rose by about 20%, which was the weakest sector rise, and timepieces costing more than CHF500 (£373) recorded very solid growth both in value and
volume terms.

The main global markets for watches showed a clear upward trend in May. Hong Kong maintained its high rate of growth and the US enjoyed accelerated growth, while China slowed slightly despite an increase of more than 45%. In sixth position, Singapore followed the same dynamic as China. In Europe, France, Italy and Germany also experienced heightened watch imports in May.

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