Swiss watch exports were flat in January at CHF 1.62 billion ($1.62 billion), as a drop in orders from China outweighed solid growth in other major export markets.
“The main markets reported growth, except for China, which experienced one of the most unfavourable base effects of the last four years,” the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported Tuesday.
Exports to China plunged 15% to CHF 150.6 million ($149.9 million), in contrast to 44% growth in January of the previous year. Supply to the US increased by 9% to CHF 178.1 million ($177.3 million). Orders to Hong Kong inched up 1.9% to CHF 245.2 million ($244.1 million).
Top-price watches enjoyed the strongest growth. Orders of watches priced above CHF 3,000 ($2,987) rose 4.6% by value, while exports of those worth CHF 500 ($498) to CHF 3,000 fell 4.8%. Supply of products priced between CHF 200 ($199) to CHF 500, as well as watches valued under CHF 200, plummeted 14%.
Similarly, exports of watches made from precious metals rose 9% to CHF 497.4 million ($495.2 million), while demand for lower-value materials fell. Supply of timepieces made from steel declined 2.6% to CHF 608.9 million ($606.2 million), while shipments of gold-and-steel watches slid 0.8% to CHF 317.3 million ($315.9 million).