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Weak Hong Kong Market Leads to Slowdown in Swiss Watch Exports

February 20, 2024  |  Leah Meirovich
Swiss watch exports 1280 USED 022024

The prolonged growth in Swiss watch exports began to slow in January amid weak demand from Hong Kong.

Shipments of timepieces grew 3.1% year on year to CHF 1.92 billion ($2.17 billion) for the month, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported Tuesday. The increase followed several months of sharp improvements. In November, exports reached their highest-ever total, while in December they were up 5.5%, with orders from Hong Kong advancing 23%.

Throughout 2023, imports to Hong Kong recovered following the reopening of the border with China at the start of the year. The municipality experienced a resurgence in visitors from the mainland, who come to purchase luxury goods.

“Most of the main markets increased in January,” the federation noted. “The US remained positive, along with the majority of Asian and European markets. Hong Kong and Germany were notable exceptions.”

Supply to the US rose 2.2% to CHF 325.9 million ($369.2 million), and exports to China jumped 5% to CHF 194.4 million ($220.2 million). In Hong Kong, the federation’s third-largest market, orders fell 4.7% to CHF 159.8 million ($181 million). Meanwhile, in Singapore, sales saw a “sharp increase,” up 10%, and in Qatar they grew 118% amid a number of events planned in the country, including the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition.

Watches that cost less than CHF 200 ($227) dropped 4.3%. Those priced between CHF 200 and CHF 500 ($566) and CHF 500 to CHF 3,000 ($3,399) were essentially flat, while those valued at over CHF 3,000 gained 4.3%, the federation noted.

Main image: A display of Swiss watches in a store. (Shutterstock)

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Swiss watch exports 1280 USED 022024 Weak Hong Kong Market Leads to Slowdown in Swiss Watch Exports

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