After the expected dramatic falls in May 2020, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) reported that watch exports continued to fall sharply in June, with the value falling 35.1 per cent compared to June 2019, to CHF 1.1 billion. An increase of 47.7 per cent for Mainland China was not enough to offset the drops in other markets such as Hong Kong, which went down 54.6 per cent, the U.S., down 57 per cent and the U.K., down 44.7 per cent. Germany (-21.3 per cent) and Singapore (-26 per cent) performed slightly better than average.
The main groups of materials saw a decline in value of between 35 and 38 per cent. Overall, 810,000 fewer items (-48.3 per cent) left Switzerland in June. In terms of materials, steel watches were the worst-performing category, down 46.5 per cent in terms of units, and 37.8 per cent in terms of value.
Entry-price watches (< CHF 200) were -48.1 percent in terms of value, and -55.4 percent in number of units.Watches priced at over CHF 200 (export price) were -35 per cent by value and -38 per cent in number terms. The most expensive category of watches over CHF 3,000 still showed a signicant drop, but less than for the lower priced categories, -37.9 per cent in unit terms and -33.1 per cent in value terms.
The COVID-19 related stoppage in production lead to a drop of 35.7 per cent in sales during the first half of the year.
[Photo credit: Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH]