The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) has reported that watch exports in 2014 continued to grow, with a total value of 22.2 bllion CHF, an increase of 1.9%, the same as 2013. The first half-year showed a 3.1% growth but the second half, only 0.8%. January’s currency news on the even of SIHH 2015 also remain a concern. In light of this, watch exports are now expected to remain stable in 2015. Watch exports ended 2014 on a negative note, with the December monthly value of 1.8 billion CHF down 2.5% on the previous year
Exports by the Swiss watch industry consisted 95% of wristwatches to the value of 21.0 billion CHF, exceeding that of 2013 by 1.7%. The number of timepieces exported also rose by 1.7% – 28.6 million watches were exported in 2014, almost half a million more than in 2013.
Mechanical watches ruled the roost, with increases in both value (+3.4%) and volume (+8.8%) terms, accounting for over one-quarter of timepieces exported and generating some 80% of sales. Quartz pieces were stable in terms of volume and lower in terms of value.
In terms of metals, steel was again king, accounting for more than half of exports, but watches made from other materials also rose in volume exported (+14.7%).
Watches costing less than 200 CHF (export price) accounted for half the rise in volumes, the 200-500 CHF category slowed in growth, the 500 – 3,000 CHF category was stable, and the higher piced segment rose by 2.7% in both volume and value terms.
The American continent (+4.5%) recorded above-average growth, thanks mainly to the United States (+6.2%). Asia recorded +2.8% overall, with Hong Kong at 0% change. China was overall -3.1%, Japan +15.2%, South Korean +18.5%. In terms of Europe, there was a -1.2% drop, with Italy at +0.5%, Germany -6.4%, France -6.0%, the U.K. +2.3%, Spain +9.8%. Russia was -1.2%.