Swiss watches sales continue to drop in September

According to Fondation de la Haute Horologerie, Swiss watches exports fell by 26.1%, to 1.1 billion francs in September. The cumulative variation was unchanged in relation to August and indicated -25.9% for the first nine months of the year. This steady decline has reduced the value of watch exports to their 2006 level.

Watches manufactured from precious metals suffered the steepest declines in value terms in September, while the downturn was less marked 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.

There was little change on 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%.