Is the Sales Decline Slowing?

Declining Watch Sales

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH reports that November recorded the highest monthly value of the year for Swiss watch exports, and also the most moderate decline at -10.6% compared with November, 2008. The report notes that while the November figures are negative, they represent a marked improvement over prior months. For 2009 overall, levels remain low however, with exports down 23.7% for the first 11 months.

12 month moving average

For November, steel watches performed well, declining only 3.8%, and bimetallic timepieces registered a gain of 8.4%. Gold watches were down 17.1% and platinum were off 53.5%. Looking at leading markets, exports to the USA were down 21.4% while Germany was down 23.3%. Exports to China increased of 36.1%. The largest market, Hong Kong, was off 14.2%.

Export values by materials
Export values by market

In terms of price points (export values), watches priced at 200-500 francs increased 20% both in value and unit volume. The most expensive category – watches priced at 3000 francs and up – showed the largest decline with their export value falling by 17.8%.

Exports by price category

Source: Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (.pdf format)

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