Industry / Watches

Swiss Watch Exports Post Strong Growth in First Half of Year


Swiss watch exports posted healthy gains in the first half of 2023, rising 11.8% by value from last year’s first half, with strong showings in all segments, according to statistics compiled by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FHS).

Growth was led by a 14.4% jump in May and a 14% increase in June, compared with those months in 2022.

Watch exports to the United States—the world’s largest market for Swiss watches—slowed down slightly in terms of growth in June, but they still rose by 8.8%. Overall, Swiss watch exports to the United States increased 9.9% in the year’s first half.

Other major markets also grew significantly in June, including China (up 9%), Hong Kong (46.2%), Singapore (12.7%), and Japan (10.1%). Europe was more mixed; the United Kingdom, France, and Italy showed growth, but Spain and the Netherlands did not.

“While the sector benefited from positive momentum in the luxury market, it also saw significant demand for entry-level watches, with volumes in this segment growing strongly,” according to a FHS statement.

Watches with an export price between 200 and 500 Swiss francs (about $230–$580) rose by 20% in June, after the category posted declines in recent years. Watches made with precious metals accounted for the highest contribution by absolute value, though all materials had an increase in June.

The FHS noted that while demand was healthy, watch manufacturers “continued to face a shortage of labor, as well as supply difficulties.”

(Photo: Getty Images)


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By: Rob Bates

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