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Swiss watch exports rise 9% on strong Japan, China and Hong Kong

Swiss watch exports rise 9% on strong Japan, China and Hong Kong

Swiss watch exports jumped 9.3 percent in October 2017, on strong sales in Hong Kong and China, despite a lag in U.S. imports, according to the Federation of Swiss Watches.

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For the month-period, sales of Swiss watches totalled 1.85 billion Swiss francs, or $1.86 billion. The federation said that the monthly result confirms a solid improvement in the watch industry, with consolidated growth for the past ten months sitting at 2.4 percent.

In September 2017, sales rose 3.7 percent and 4.2 percent in August.

In October 2017, Japan recorded the fastest growth, where exports leapt 21.7 percent. Exports to China were up 18.2 percent, while Hong Kong, which is also the industry’s largest market, rose 15.8 percent.

Outside Asia, the U.S. market remained dire, down 7.3 percent. Growth in Europe was a placid 5.9 percent, hurt by a 0.7 percent decline in Italy. Big player Britain inched forward 1.2 percent, showing signs of a slow down in October, said the federation.

By watch category, exports of watches worth between 500 Swiss francs and 3,000 Swiss francs grew the fastest, up 20.3 percent in value terms, while watches priced between 200 Swiss francs and 500 Swiss francs rose 10.4 percent.

The most expensive range, above 3,000 Swiss francs, rose 6.3 percent. Meanwhile, timepieces priced at below 200 Swiss francs dropped 3.4 percent, said the federation.

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Looking forward, the federation noted a “declining medium-term trend” in Japan.

Analysts also fear that the ongoing weakness in exports of cheaper watches could prompt the resurgence of smartwatch domination over the longer term.

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