Swiss Watch Exports recovered in Dec 2016 to Decline 6.2% in Jan 2017

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We last reported that Swiss Watch Exports declined 4.6% in Dec 2016, likely propped up by a recovering China market and holiday spending valued at USD1.72 billion but January 2017 Swiss Watch Exports showed a 6.2% year-on-year decline showing that the industry remains in the negative.

While the segment is still in negative territory, the upside is that the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry  reported that even with January 2017 Swiss Watch Exports declining 6.2% or down USD1.39 billion, the downward slope has flattened across the last three consecutive months, likely a symbol of the market floor.

Chart courtesy of Federation of Swiss Watch Industry.


Swiss Watch Exports Jan 2017 Report

Steel timepieces saw a slight uptick but precious metal watch exports remained down, contributing to January’s poor performance . Meanwhile, though watches of all price tiers posted falls, surprising substantial declines were indicated for entry level watches with analysts theorising a possible return to value seeking and strategic buys rather than purchasing because of¬†affordability.

Meanwhile, total shipments to Hong Kong were down 3.9%; in the United States up 5%, holding steady recovery which began in December with Japan posting the most substantial slide down 21.7% despite influx of Chinese tourist arrivals. Exports to China continued the uptrend since December 2016, going up 7.8% in January 2017, totalling four consecutive months of growth. Over in the Eurozone, the United Kingdom remained stable for January year-on-year, with export levels equal to January 2016. All in all, reasonable expectation for 2017 to be a period of consolidation and potential recovery for the Swiss watch industry.

Exports for watches priced in the USD 2,900 range remained stable but was still down 4.2% for January 2017.







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  1. Why so nasty people? I for one find this interesting because as R J Williams said it has direct impact on what product line changes we can expect from our favourite manufacturers. I also find it interesting because it speaks to the global economy as a whole and even to cultural trends.

    If it doesn’t interest you don’t read it. There’s no need to post such negative comments. You are not the only consumers of online media.

  2. If you love Swiss made watches the market condition is very important. The response by companies to this downturn may decide the whole price and sales structure of the industry in the future. In the short term it will change market offerings. Hopefully they will make their decisions wisely.

  3. what really is the purpose of reporting these trends when it does absolutely nothing in terms of consumers having a better analysis of what to buy? you are a “watch blog”. stick to writing hands on or review pieces of watches rather than “reporting” these meaningless figures to the consumers.

    • Dear Weiss, I believe mr. Ho is paid on a per article basis. Unfortunately mr. Ho cannot write. He writes: a symbol of the market floor. Who says it like that? Why not say “bottomed out”? Both the content and the writing in this site are weak.

    • The writing “in” this site? I would say Mr Ho’s writing is considerably better than yours Eshan.