Eight-million watches exported as demand for high-end brands booms in first half of 2023


Sales of new Swiss watches are booming. Exports of Swiss watches increased by nearly 12% for the first half of 2023, compared to the first half of 2022 to CHF 13.3-billion (about US$15.4-billion).
The Rolex 1908 Perpetual.

The Rolex 1908 Perpetual. Image: ©Rolex

 Exports for the month of June were up 14% over the same month last year, to CHF 2,445,200 (about $2,833,596). The amounts, released by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) represent wholesale values.

Patek Philippe reference 5905.

Patek Philippe reference 5905. Image; Patek Philippe

The U.S. remains the top market for Swiss watches, with CHF 353,500 worth of watches exported to the country in June, representing an 8.8% increase over June of 2022, followed by China, which imported CHF 256,300 in watches, a 9% increase. Hong Kong (+46.2%) ended the first half at a very steady pace, returning to values close to those seen in 2017 for the first six months of the year.

Cartier Tank Prive

Cartier Tank Prive. Image: Cartier

In terms of volume, a total of 8,195,496 wristwatches were exported from Switzerland in the first half of 2023, representing a 13.9% increase over the first half of 2022. For the month of June, a total of 1,588,100 watches were exported in June, the majority of which (836,500) were made of steel.

Another 39,000 were made of precious metals, and 95,900 were two-tone, a combination of precious metal and steel.

Watches made of “other materials” – which could be titanium, carbon, ceramic, etc. – amounted to a total of 485,000 watches, a category that increased by 50.8%.

The Panerai Radiomir Libretto.

The Panerai Radiomir Libretto. Image: Panerai

Growth was seen in all price segments, by both value and volume, and in particular, the lower-priced category of CHF 200-500 (about $232-580) continued its gradual recovery of the past six months, increasing by around 20% in June over the previous month.

Exports to Europe were up 12.6%, led by Italy (+32.4%), Germany (+17.4%), France (+13.9) and the UK (+5.6%), although Spain (-6.9%) and the Netherlands (-6.7%) continued to lose ground.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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