2010 Swss Watch Export
From the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry - The year 2010 saw a very clear-cut recovery after the significant downturn recorded in 2009. The sector exported the equivalent of 16.2 billion francs, i.e. 2.9 billion more than the previous year. This growth of 22.1% clearly indicates a return to a healthy and robust situation for Swiss watchmaking, with a level slightly higher than the 2007 result, which was considered at the time to be excellent.
The recovery took effect from the month of January 2010. All months in 2010 showed an upward trend, often in excess of 20%, or even 30% in March and June. Growth accelerated each quarter, finally bringing watch exports to a rate of increase of 24.3% in the second half-year, compared to 19.6% in the first.
The decline in 2009 has not been fully erased, since the sector has still to return to its level of 2008. The latest results indicate however that the recovery is based on firm foundations and is set to continue in 2011, even though as yet not all players and regions are benefiting to the same extent.
Wristwatches accounted for nearly 94% of the value of exports by Swiss watch manufacturers in 2010, recording an increase of 22.7% to 15.1 billion francs. The corresponding number of timepieces also increased sharply, rising to 26.1 million units. This is the highest level achieved since 2002, thanks to growth of 20.4%.
Steel – the material of choice for more than one in two timepieces – set the pace, both in value and volume terms. Gold watches were also close to the yearly average. Bimetallic timepieces recorded particularly strong growth (+50.7% by value). In volume terms, the category of other materials strongly influenced the overall result with an increase of 30.6%.
Growth was apparent in all price segments. Watches costing less than 200 francs (export price) were largely responsible for the rise in the total number of timepieces, with an increase of 18.5%. Representing around 10% of the total, the 200-500 francs category registered the sharpest increase, in excess of 30%. Timepieces between 500 and 3,000 francs were situated slightly below the average, while watches costing more than 3,000 francs recorded an increase of 24.2% by value and 29.8% by volume.
In addition to watches, the sector exported other watchmaking products with a value of one billion francs. This value rose by 13.7% compared to 2009. It includes in particular components undergoing operations abroad before returning to Switzerland (enhancements trade).
During the year 2010, the fifteen main markets showed the following trend (total value in million francs and % variation by comparison with 2009):
|10.||United Arab Emirates||578.5||+31.9%|
Asia absorbed more than half the total value of exports in 2010 and recorded growth well above that of other regions. With a rate of increase of 34.6%, it easily outstripped America (+14.5%) and Europe (+10.4%).
Hong Kong, secure in its role as a re-export centre, consolidated its position as the leading direct market for Swiss watch exports by achieving one of the highest increases in the analysis. The United States continued their recovery, but in a more modest way and starting from a lower level. Standing out from other European markets, France registered strong growth, thanks in particular to numerous purchases by tourists. Other destinations on the Old Continent showed more modest increases and even a decline in the case of Germany. In fourth position, China proved particularly dynamic and moved up three places in the ranking compared to 2009. After around three years on a downward spiral, Japan recovered remarkably well and ended the year on a positive note. The other main Asian markets all recorded growth above the world average.
From the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry 2/2011