2001 Swiss Exports: Value Up, Volume Down

The Swiss watch industry exported US$6.2 billion of watches and watch products in 2001, a 3.5% increase and a new record, according to its annual report. There were significant gains for precious metal and upscale timepieces, but sales drops for cheaper watches. The value of finished Swiss watches alone rose 3.7% (US$5.6 billion), though volume dropped 11.6% (by 3.5 million) to 26.4 million. The United States, the largest market for Swiss watches, had the biggest declines—down 14.1% in value (to US$932.8 million) and down 16.6% in volume (almost 3.3 million). The report spotlights the ongoing concentration of exports in upmarket products. The greatest growth (mainly in the United States, Asia, and Europe) was in gold watches (+15.2%, to 570,457 units) and platinum watches (+64%, to 11,799 units). While steel watches are the largest category (four out of 10 exports), their volume

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