The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry has released the latest Swiss watch export figures (September 2009) and the downward trend continues. The value of Swiss watch exports fell by 26.1% to 1.1 billion francs. Overall exports are down by 25.9% for the first 3 quarters of this year. Swiss watch exports have now at their 2006 level.
Watches manufactured from precious metals suffered the steepest declines in value, while the downturn was less severe for bimetallic timepieces. The number of timepieces exported fell by nearly a million units in just one month. Steel watches and other materials had a markedly negative effect on results. Since the beginning of the year, exports have registered a shortfall of 5.1 million watches.
For wristwatches costing less than 200 francs (export price), the number of pieces exported fell by 50%, a deficit of 890,000 units, while watches in the 200 to 500 franc segment performed much better, registering a decline of only 4%. Watches between 500 and 3,000 francs recorded an above average performance although their value fell by 18.2% compared to September 2008. Timepieces costing more than 3,000 francs set the tone, their value falling by 26.0%.
There was little change in the Swiss watch industry’s different markets. Hong Kong and the United States registered rates of decline close to those of previous months. France and Italy showed comparable above-average trends. Germany improved somewhat. Since the beginning of the year the main European markets have shown a stronger resistance to the downswing in demand for Swiss watch exports. China produced the best result, followed closely by Singapore, where the fall in value was 3.3%.