Swiss Watch Exports Decline Again, Reaching 2006 Level

Swiss watch export figures for September

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry has released Swiss watch export figures for 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 25.9% for the first 3 quarters of 2009. Swiss watch exports have now retreated to their 2006 level.

Swiss watch exports - 12 month moving average
Swiss watch exports in September 2009

Watches manufactured from precious metals suffered the steepest declines in value terms in September, while the downturn was less severe for bimetallic timepieces. The number of timepieces exported suffered particularly badly, falling by nearly a million units in one month. Steel and the category of 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.

Wristwatch export figures by materials

For wristwatches costing less than 200 francs (export price), the number of pieces exported fell by half in September, generating a deficit of 890,000 units. The 200-500 franc segment performed much better, registering a decline of around 4%. Watches between 500 and 3,000 francs recorded an above average performance. 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%.

Wristwatches by price categories

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%.

Export figures for leading markets

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

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