A pedestrian walks past an advertisement for Rolex watches China.
PARIS — The outlook finally appears to be looking brighter for the Swiss watch industry.After 20 consecutive months of declining exports, sales of Swiss timepieces saw a 7.5 percent uptick in March, reaching 1.6 billion Swiss francs, or $1.6 billion at average exchange, according to data released by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry on Thursday.“This welcome result must, however, be placed in perspective because it benefited from two extra working days and a particularly favorable base effect,” stated the federation.Analysts estimated that adjusted for calendar effects, sales still dropped, by around 2 percent. Yet after nearly two years of declines impacted by the crackdown on luxury gifting in China and a slowdown in Hong Kong — the biggest international market for Helvetic timepieces — as Chinese tourists chose other travel destinations, the uptick was seen as reassuring.“The March data is likely to be seen as a turning point in the destocking cycle led by Mainland China and Hong Kong,” wrote Citigroup analysts Thomas Chauvet and Silky Agarwal in a research note.“The investment case in hard luxury hinges on the continuation of this nascent recovery,” commented Luca Solca, sector head of luxury goods at Exane BNP Paribas.Sales in Hong Kong grew 18.1 percent in March. Although observers noted signs of recovery over recent months, it was the first time in more than two years that sales there grew.Exports to China, meanwhile, increased 37.7 percent, cementing its recovery.While sales of watches made of precious metal continued to decline, falling 0.7 percent, revenues for steel watches grew 12.5 percent and jumped 15.1 percent for bi-metallic timepieces.The strongest growth came from wristwatches in the 200 to 500 Swiss francs, or $200 to $500 price range, which grew 21.1 percent in value. The only price category that saw declining sales was less than 200 Swiss francs, or $200, although sales of these timepieces also increased in value, by 6.2 percent.Sales to the United States grew 15.6 percent, although the market is negative in the midterm, the federation observed.In Japan, exports grew 8.3 percent, while in the United Kingdom, they were up 15.2 percent, boosted by the weak pound. Sales fell, however, in the other main European markets, as well as Singapore and the UAE, the federation said.Dollar figures are converted at average exchange for the period to which they refer.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty