Good Times: Why Watches Matter to a Jeweler’s Bottom Line

The watch business may be lucrative, but it’s also demanding. JCK offers a primer on growing your stake in the booming timepiece trade.The recession? Ancient history—just ask anyone in the Swiss watch business.Buoyed by a booming luxury sector and strong demand in Asia, Swiss watch exports for the first 11 months of last year tallied a steady growth rate of 19 percent compared with 2010, for a cumulative total of 17.4 billion Swiss francs, or $18.7 billion, according to the latest figures from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.The outlook for 2012 has been tempered by the European debt ­crisis and a sharp slowdown in the Chinese economy. Still, the industry is expecting exports to maintain record levels this year. Richemont—the owner of such high-profile names as Cartier, IWC, and Panerai—saw 2011 third-quarter revenues climb 28 percent worldwide and 36 percent in the A

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