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Swiss Watch Exports Bounce Back Amid Hong Kong Revival

May 30, 2024  |  Leah Meirovich

Swiss watch exports began to rebound in April as demand in Hong Kong returned and China’s decline eased. 

Shipments of timepieces rose 4.5% to CHF 2.15 billion ($2.37 billion) for the month, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported Thursday. The lift followed a 16% drop in March, and a decrease of 3.8% in February as appetite in Asia began to falter. 

“Swiss watch exports revived in April following the marked decline seen in the previous month,” the federation noted. “Out of the 10 main markets, only China lost ground compared with April 2023, while Hong Kong remained stable. Other Asian markets achieved double-digit growth. The US, which is always well ahead, also proved highly dynamic.” 

Supply to the US climbed 12% to CHF 338.7 million ($373.5 million). In China, the federation’s second-largest market, shipments slid 8% to CHF 187.2 million ($206.5 million), but they stabilized in Hong Kong at CHF 169.7 million ($187.2 million). In Japan, which replaced Hong Kong as the third-largest market in April, exports rose 14% to CHF 172.1 million ($189.9 million). Singapore saw a rise of 13%, as did the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Shipments to South Korea grew 27% and those to Europe were up 6%. 

Timepieces over CHF 3,000 ($3,311) were the only category that saw an increase, climbing 8%. Items that cost between CHF 500 ($552) and CHF 3,000 dropped 10%, while watches priced from CHF 200 ($221) to CHF 500 slipped 1.3%. Units under CHF 200 fell 1.2%. 

In the first four months of the year, exports declined 2.6% to CHF 8.32 billion ($9.18 billion). 

Image: A display of Swiss watches. (Shutterstock)

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