Industry / Watches

Swiss Watch Exports Now Above Pre-Pandemic Levels


Swiss watch exports exceeded pre-pandemic levels in April, hitting 1.8 billion Swiss francs, 2% higher than April 2019, according to data complied by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH (FHS).

This is the second month in a row that Swiss watch exports have exceeded pre-pandemic levels. In March, they rose an even more dramatic 7.4% over two years ago.

April exports were also nearly 450% higher than those posted in April 2020, but since that month was at the height of worldwide COVID-19 lockdown, that number is “no longer relevant,” the FHS says.

The best performing markets were China, where sales grew an incredible 75% compared to April 2019, and the United States, where sales grew a whopping 14.6%. However, watch exports to Hong Kong (-24.8%) and Japan (-11.7%) were down, and the European market showed weakness, particularly in Germany (-11.2%), Italy (-17.6%) and France (-28.5%).

The gains were mostly at the high end, with timepieces priced at over 3,000 francs (export price) posting strong sales, while other categories fell, particularly those under 500 francs.

Top: Gray limited-edition Big Bang Sang Bleu II with 45 mm high-tech ceramic case, self-winding chronograph, and rubber strap, $27,300; Hublot

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By: Rob Bates

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