PARIS — Swiss watch exports confirmed a strong rebound in the first quarter, with a rise of 32.8 percent in March compared with the same month last year to 1.2 billion Swiss francs, or $1.14 billion, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said Thursday.
“The recovery is therefore clearly confirmed, with the first quarter showing an upturn of 16.6 percent and a return to levels recorded in 2007,” the federation stated.
Sales of timepieces priced at more than 500 francs, or $468, grew by more than 40 percent in value terms, signaling a return of consumer confidence following a sharp drop in luxury watch sales in 2009. Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the period.
The top three markets showed a marked pickup, with sales in the U.S. up 56 percent versus March 2009, while Hong Kong sales jumped 67.7 percent and China saw a rise of 89.8 percent.
Switzerland exported 1.8 million wristwatches in March, with gold and steel timepieces leading the gains. In the first three months of the year, volumes rose by 900,000 units, or 19.8 percent, versus the same period last year.
“The most expensive segment has finally turned the corner and is returning to a more favorable position within the Swiss watch industry,” Dennis Weber, luxury goods analyst at Evolution Securities, said in a research note. “With its broader exposure to different price ranges, Swatch was probably best placed to benefit from the performance in recent months, where cheaper-end products have outperformed more expensive watches. This trend has been reversed in March and Richemont’s market leading portfolio is in our view best placed to benefit from this development,” he added.
Shares in Swatch Group closed down 0.3 percent at 325.50 Swiss francs, or $304.38, while Richemont shares closed down 0.4 percent at 39.96 Swiss francs, or $37.37.
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