Swiss watch exports were down 25.8 per cent from January to October this year – the sharpest decline ever recorded over the last 80 years, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH.
Shipments continued to drop in October at 7.1 per cent, albeit at a slower pace compared with the previous months at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. “The annual trend should therefore gradually stabilise,” the federation said.
Slight improvements were evident in the export figures of major markets. China was steady, rising by 15.1 per cent while Hong Kong recorded a growth of 3.5 per cent for the first time since March 2019, compared to a 29.6 dip in October last year due to anti-government protests. A decline of 5.3 per cent in the US remained close to the global average, as in September.
Most of Asia meanwhile remained in the red, with the notable exception of the United Arab Emirates, which rose 22.2 per cent. The most significant declines were in Europe, especially in Germany (-17.3 per cent), France (-38.6 per cent), Italy (-25.5 per cent) and Spain (-27.6 per cent), and to a lesser extent in the United Kingdom (-8.1 per cent).
“The spread of the pandemic in these markets and the measures taken by their respective governments suggest a somewhat pessimistic outlook for the next few months,” the federation said.