Swiss watchmaking in January 2017

Watch exports continued to decline during the month of January. They were 6.2% lower with a total value of 1.4 billion francs. The negative trend has flattened out somewhat in the past three months but remains significantly in the red.1

There seems to be a growing consensus that the worst may be over for the Swiss watch industry.The fall in value was attributable once again to watches in precious metal while steel timepieces confirmed their recovery. However, the trend in volume terms was still downwards. The month of January proved particularly negative for the other metals category.

2

All the price segments posted a fall; this was more substantial for the lower ranges. Watches priced at over 3000 francs (export price) were the least affected, contrary to the situation in 2016. Their value was down by 4.2%. The situation also began to ease in Hong Kong, where January reported a moderate fall after a negative spiral lasting for two years. The positive trend which had begun in December was maintained in the United States. China experienced its fourth consecutive month of growth and so holds out favourable prospects for the year 2017. The United Kingdom remains an exception but was only able to equal its January 2016 level. The influx of Chinese tourists to Japan in December did not have the hoped for impact on Swiss watch exports which fell sharply in January.

3

Source: Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH

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