Home » Swiss watches, volumes at +7.2% in 2023. Growth driven by MoonSwatch

Swiss watches, volumes at +7.2% in 2023. Growth driven by MoonSwatch

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Swiss watches, volumes at +7.2% in 2023.  Growth driven by MoonSwatch

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In 2023, the Swiss watch market reached 25 billion francs in the wholesale channel (45% of the total) and 50 billion Swiss francs (excluding taxes) in retail sales. Volumes are also growing: +7.2% on 2022 with 16.9 million pieces exported of which 10.6 million relating to quartz watches and 6.3 to mechanical watches (in the last ten years the number of the former is halved, while that of seconds remains stable). According to analysts, 100% of the growth in units of the sector, quantified at 1.1 million pieces, is attributable to the Swatch brand and, in particular, to the success of its MoonSwatch. The photograph of the sector comes from the seventh edition of report on the Swiss watch industry 2023, created by Morgan Stanley in collaboration with LuxeConsult by cross-referencing the data provided by the Federation Horlogere Suisse (FHS) with others.

Rolex leads in terms of revenues and market share in retail

In addition to presenting this global market data, the report analyzes the performance of individual brands. Starting with market share in retail. Rolex is firmly first in 2023, also increasing its share with 30.3% (it was 29.2% in 2022). It should also be noted that Cartier joined Omega in second place with 7.5% (in 2022 it was at 7%, while Omega was at 7.7%). Followed by Patek Philippe with 5.6% (5.1% in 2022), Audemars Piguet with 4.9% (4.7 in 2022), Longines with 3.4% (3.9% in 2022) and Richard Mille with 3.1% (2.7% in 2002). Vacheron Constantin is also growing, climbing several positions with 2.7%, entering eighth place in the top ten (in 2022 it was eleventh with 2.2%) which closes with Tissot at 2.5% and Breitling at 2.4 %. Immediately after, IWC and Hublot follow, paired with 1.9%, Jaeger-LeCoultre with 1.7%, Tag Heuer with 1.7%, Panerai with 1.4%, Breguet with 0 ,6%. All other brands together are worth 20.7%. If you look at the market share considering the groups, Rolex (Rolex and Tudor) has 31.9% (30.9% in 2022), Swatch Group (Omega, Longines, Tissot, Swatch, Breguet and Blancpain, among others) 19.4% (19.8% in 2022), Richemont (Cartier, Panerai, Iwc, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels and Montblanc, among others) 18.7% (19.5% in 2022) and LVMH (Bulgari, Tag Heuer, Hublot, Zenith, Louis Vuitton and Dior) 5.8% (6.3% in 2022).

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Interesting data of the report comes from the part concerning the turnover of the brands in which it was estimated that Rolex sold 1,240 thousand watches totaling 10.1 billion Swiss francs, a figure that led the crown house to break through for the first time in the history of the Swiss watch industry reaches the 10 billion mark (in 2022 the estimated figure was 9.3 billion): if we also consider the market share of 30.3%, the report underlines that no luxury brand can boast such a position dominant in its sector of expertise.

Revenues, the billionaires’ club welcomes Vacheron Constantin

The figures then highlight that the turnover of almost all the protagonists of the “billionaire’s club”, i.e. the brands that exceed one billion Swiss francs in turnover, has grown: Cartier concluded with 3.1 billion Swiss francs (2.7 in 2022), Omega with 2.6 billion (2.470 in 2022), Audemars Piguet with 2.3 billion (2.01 in 2022), Patek Philippe with 2.05 billion (1.8 in 2022), Richard Mille 1.5 billion (1.3 in 2022). The only exception is Longines whose turnover was estimated at 1.1 billion, a slight decrease compared to the 1.2 billion in 2022. In this club, then, from this year there is also Vacheron Constantin which has reached 1 .09 billion Swiss francs (825 million in 2022). Immediately below the top eight companies in the sector are Breitling with 870 million Swiss francs (860 in 2022) and Tissot with 825 million Swiss francs (750 in 2022). In fact, the study highlights that four brands together (Rolex, Cartier, Omega and Patek Philippe) are worth 50.2% of the total sales. A percentage that rises to 75% if the top 13 companies in the sector are considered and to 90% if the reference is the top 25 (out of 350).

Collaborations make Swatch fly

A special mention was reserved for Swatch which, among the top 50 brands in the sector, achieved the highest sales growth with +63% on an annual basis. A result achieved thanks to the confirmation of the success of its MoonSwatch created in collaboration with Omega (2 million pieces sold in 2023 of this collection for a value of approximately 480 million Swiss francs, 73% of the 660 million achieved in total by the brand) . In 2023, Swatch also stood out for a second partnership with another brand of the group, Blancpain: the Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms, however, did not have the same impact as the MoonSwatch (but it was largely predictable, given the very different notoriety of Omega and its bestseller Speedmaster Moonwatch revisited in a Swatch key) but still sold 150 thousand pieces, raising 52 million Swiss francs.

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