The downturn in watch industry exports flattened out in the third quarter, but remained significant September, according to the data from FHS, at -5.7%. The total value then stood at 1.7 billion francs with the benefit of a more favorable comparison base.
Fewer watches are being shipped overseas due to retailers purchasing fewer pieces to sell, but there are some experts point out that the popularity of smartwatches may affect the Swiss timepiece market more or less. However, it’s a difficult topic to determine whether the fact is right or not. The representative apple watches have only on sale since April 2015, after all, so a correlation cannot be decided.
The Swiss watchmaking industry had to contend with a more complex and challenging environment in 2015. It reported its first downturn since 2009. The value of watch industry exports stood at 21.5 billion francs, 3.3% lower than in 2014. Following two consecutive years of consolidation, the annual result was therefore almost back at its 2012 level. The adverse trend of the Hong Kong market had a severe impact on the overall progress of business.
Why are luxury exports down? One reason is that the grey watch market is booming, timepieces are now being sold more than ever outside of the confines of the authorized dealer networks. The traditional channels are no longer the only method to buy these watches, e-commerce become a popular place to make their choice especially as these watches could be discounted up to 50%. The turn down on the Swiss watch export graph may indicate that new watches are dipping in popularity, but the luxury watch market in still buyout.
The luxury watch market is to be involved with non-traditional methods, it seems that more horologists are continuing to buy timepieces via net channels, it’s pivotal that luxury watch brands keep an eye on these trends by utilizing digital media and promote continuous online sales in marketing strategy in order to keep step with the market.