Record Sales in Europe for 2000

The Swiss watch industry, led by some of Europe's top watch groups, announced record results for the year 2000. The Swiss watch industry's exports topped 10,297 billion Swiss francs (about $6.3 billion) for the first time. That was a 14.4% increase over 1999's figures and marked 17 months of "uninterrupted growth." A report by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry cited sustained demand in major markets, the strength of the U.S. dollar against the Swiss franc, and consumers' "growing fascination" with luxury products as major reasons for the gain. Swiss watchmakers exported 29.9 million units in 2000, a 4.6% decline, reflecting a drop in quartz watches (down 5.1%). But value was up 14.1% to 9.3 billion Swiss francs (about $5.6 billion). The United States remains the top destination of Swiss watches, importing units valued at almost 2 billion francs (about $
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