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Brexit Continues to Buoy Swiss Watch Exports

Exports to the UK rose 76% in March.
Apr 21, 2019 7:18 AM   By Rapaport News
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Swiss watch exports rose 4.4% to CHF 1.74 billion ($1.72 billion) in March as UK retailers continued to stockpile in preparation for Brexit.

“The UK was a special case once again, because of stockpiling in the run-up to Brexit,” the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported last week. “Other European markets continued to lose ground.”

Exports to the UK rose 76% to CHF 134.7 million ($132.9 million). Asia also showed strong growth for the month, with supply to China climbing 17% to CHF 141.6 million ($139.7 million) and Japan jumping 22% to CHF 137.1 million ($135.3 million). Orders to Hong Kong increased 2.5% to CHF 236.2 million ($233 million), and shipments to the US grew 6% to CHF 187.4 million ($184.8 million).

Top-price watches enjoyed the strongest growth. Orders of watches priced above CHF 3,000 ($2,961) rose 13% by value. Exports of those worth CHF 500 ($493) to CHF 3,000 fell 5%, while those priced between CHF 200 ($197) and CHF 500 slipped 1.7%. Supply of products valued under CHF 200 plunged 25%.

Similarly, exports of watches made from precious metals rose 11% to CHF 556 million ($548.4 million), and those comprising gold and steel grew 12% to CHF 292.6 million ($288.6 million). Shipments of timepieces made of steel remained nearly flat, inching up 1% to CHF 659.9 million ($650.9 million), while supply of watches made from other metals increased 4.4% to CHF 82 million ($80.9 million).

Exports rose 2.9% to 5.16 billion ($5.09 billion) for the first quarter, from January to March.

Image: Swiss watches in a store display in Geneva. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Brexit, Federation of the Swiss ‎Watch Industry, Rapaport News, swiss watch
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