Swiss Watch Exports in February Hit by Drop by Hong Kong

On a high comparison base, Swiss watch industry exports showed a moderate downturn in February.

At 1.7 billion francs (around $2 billion), their monthly result was down 2.0% on the 2014 figure.

The decline was partially offset by the rise posted in January, but the trend for the first two months of the year remained favorable at +1.0%.

The fall in value was largely due to watches in precious metals of which the number of pieces fell. Timepieces in steel also lost ground in terms of both volume and value.

The category of other metals saw a very strong advance in the number of pieces, largely offsetting other falls, in particular of steel watches.

Watches priced at less than 200 francs (export price) were the only category to report an increase in February with the number of pieces 6.2% higher. Above 200 francs, the trend proved negative with roughly -4% in terms of both value and the number of pieces.

Swiss watch exports to Hong Kong showed the steepest fall in two years (-21.8%), with a considerable impact on the overall result while the trend of most other markets was more favorable.

The result for the United States rose by 7.5% closely followed by China (+7.0%), confirming its January growth figure. In Europe, Italy (+17.6%) and the United Kingdom (+54.2%) reported particularly sustained growth while the continent as a whole exceeded its 2014 level by 9.4%.

Following a very positive year, Japan suffered an unfavorable base effect with a steep fall (-15.4%) for the second month in a row.