Swiss Watch Federation Expects Record Year

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH expects 2005 to be another record-breaking year.

The total value of Swiss watch exports worldwide in 2004 topped 11 billion Swiss francs (about $8.5 billion), an all-time record, the Federation was told by FH president Jean-Daniel Pasche at its annual meeting June 30, in Soleure, Switzerland. By the end of 2005, 12 billion Swiss francs (about $9.2 billion) “could well be attained, or least be well within reach,” he said.

The year 2004 also finished with an increase in exports, which FH also expects for this year.

“At the end of 2004, we predicted an increase in exports for 2005 of between 6 and 7 percent,” Pasche noted. “The five first months of 2005 saw a 13.7 percent increase.”

Pasche had good news to report on the major markets for Swiss watches. “The Asian market continues to expand, and the United States still records an increase [this year], though less apparent than in 2004,” he said. “Business in Europe is getting back its color, which is most encouraging for our traditional markets.”

He also noted that other regions of the world show growing interest in Swiss watches, especially Eastern European countries; Russia; and Latin America, primarily Mexico.

“Hopefully, external factors—and here, I am thinking particularly about the rate of the dollar—won’t interfere with this positive outlook,” said Pasche.