Swiss Franc Driving Up Watch Prices

With the Swiss franc hitting record levels against the dollar, leading watch manufacturers are warning retailers that they will have to raise prices.At press time, the franc, traditionally viewed as a “reserve currency,” had jumped 25 percent since the ­beginning of 2011, according to Forex ­And Switzerland-based manufacturers, some of whom have instituted increases, say that retailers should brace for more. “We are anticipating a price increase,” says Stacie Orloff, president of Bell & Ross America, adding that her company hasn’t yet raised prices. “We haven’t made any decisions other than we will be anticipating an increase of 5 to 10 percent.”And Orloff thinks she’s not alone. “From what I hear, all my competitors have either risen prices already or are anticipating doing it again,” she says. “The franc is just out of control.”Jean-Cla

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