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Watches, exports still growing strongly in the first half for Swiss watch hands

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Watches, exports still growing strongly in the first half for Swiss watch hands

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Data at the end of June shows a robust first half of 2023 for Swiss watch exports. Swiss timepiece exports in the first six months of this year amounted to 13.32 billion francs (13.85 billion euros at current exchange rates), up 11.8% on the previous year. In the month of June alone, Swiss exports amounted to 2.44 billion francs (2.54 billion euros), with an increase of 14% compared to the same month in 2022.

In the semester, the leading trio of outlet markets was confirmed, ie the United States, China, Hong Kong, with the latter now rising quite sharply in terms of Swiss export figures. A positive sign also for the major European markets, with Italy proceeding at a good pace and confirming its tenth place, thus remaining in the top ten. These are the numbers of the ten main markets for the semester: United States 2 billion francs (+9.9%), China 1.39 billion (+25.4%), Hong Kong 1.25 billion (+28.8%), Japan 886 million (+5.9%), United Kingdom 839 million (+7.8%), Singapore 834 million (+9.4%), Germany 686 million (+11.9%), France 646 million (+12.6%), United Arab Emirates 620 million (+14%), Italy 5 48 million (+17%).

The data relating to the month of June only offer the same group of main markets, however with partially different positions behind the leading trio and with Italy which reached eighth place during the month. These are the figures of the top ten in June: United States 353 million francs (+8.8%), China 256 million (+9%), Hong Kong 210 million (+46.2%), United Kingdom 159 million (+5.6%), Singapore 158 million (+12.7%), Japan 154 million (+10.1%), France 128 million (+13.9%), Italy 127 million (+32.4%), Germany 125 million (+17.4%), United Arab 120 million (+21.1%).

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In June, all product ranges recorded increases, with peaks for the medium range and for the high range. The export of high-end Swiss watches, with prices above 3,000 francs, rose in value by 15.5% compared to a year earlier; medium-high range timepieces, with prices between 500 and 3,000 francs, archived a +8.1%; mid-range watches, priced between 200 and 500 francs, recorded a +18.7%; the timepieces of the basic range, with prices under 200 francs, recorded a +9.9% increase in the month. The international economic slowdown and the strength of the franc, which in fact makes Swiss products more expensive, have thus far not prevented the export of Swiss watches from proceeding at a sustained pace.

The Swiss timepiece industry represents over half of the sector’s global turnover and is strongly oriented towards exports, the latter in fact accounting for over 90% of its production. Data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (Fh) take a snapshot of export trends every month, providing an indicator for the Swiss hub but also for the sector more generally. Swiss watch exports at the mid-2023 halfway point exceeded many expectations at the beginning of the year. Maintaining this pace in the second half of the year is the goal and at the same time the challenge for the Swiss industry.

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