2016 is considered to be a year of recovery of Swiss watch industry. However, reality get worse than ever. In October, Swiss watch industry exports in fact reported their steepest fall of this year. The value was 16.4% lower against same period of last year at 1.7 billion francs. The variation over ten months now stands at -11%.
Timepieces priced at less than 200 francs (export price) posted the biggest declines. The 200-500 and 500-3,000 francs segments reported falls of between 14% and 16%. The value of watches priced at over 3,000 francs (-16.2%) fell more steeply than their volume (-10.2%), illustrating the reduction in the average price which has been observed for the past six months.
The falls were heavy on most markets and the progression reported in some countries had no real impact on the overall total. The decline in Hong Kong was cut by half compared to the September figure but remained very negative. A substantial reduction was also posted in the United States. Watch industry exports to China continued their recovery which began in July thanks to a positive result in October. The United Kingdom was once again the most dynamic market, still benefiting from the lower parity of the pound sterling following the Brexit referendum. The other European and Asian markets reported sharp falls, except for South Korea (-1.2%) where the trend has recovered strongly since the summer.
For Swiss watches, when will the spring come?