Swiss Watch Exports Up 11 Percent in First Half

The value of Swiss watch exports rose in 2005’s first half, even as the number of units exported declined.

The overall value totaled 5.6 billion francs ($6.7 billion), up 11 percent over January–June 2004, says the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH. April, May, and June each topped the 1 billion franc mark.

Among products, exports of finished watches had a total value of 5.1 billion francs ($6.1 billion), up 12.3 percent. Gold timepieces (up 20.3 percent) contributed to nearly half the increase. Steel watches (up 8.2 percent) and bimetal watches (up 20.9 percent) also helped. The total number of watches exported fell by 820,000 units to 11.2 million, a 6.8 percent drop, mainly the result of declines since February in lower-priced watches.

Among major markets for Swiss watches, the United States—its top market—posted a 14.1 percent increase in total value (956.2 million Swiss francs, or $1.1 billion). Most of the largest markets showed a positive trend in 2005’s first half, said FH, including Asia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, China, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia.

Swiss Watches Top 15 Markets

Market Millions of Swiss Francs % Increase/Decrease
Source: Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH
1. United States 956.2 14.1%
2. Hong Kong 839.4 8.9%
3. Japan 503.5 18.7%
4. Italy 379.6 11.9%
5. France 295.8 4.0%
6. Germany 279.7 13.4%
7. United Kingdom 271.3 11.2%
8. Singapore 222.3 5.7%
9. Spain 175.5 5.1%
10. United Arab Emirates 174.5 22.9%
11. China 173.9 35.1%
12. Taiwan 107.8 12.9%
13. Saudi Arabia 86.2 8.0%
14. Thailand 84.5 -14.9%
15. Russia 74.5 6.2%