A pedestrian walks past an advertisement for Rolex watches China.
PARIS — Exports of Swiss watches jumped 9.3 percent in October, with growth led by Hong Kong and China, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said on Thursday.Sales of Swiss watches totaled 1.85 billion Swiss francs, or $1.86 billion, a brisk performance despite persistent declines in exports to the U.S.The federation signaled a “very favorable base effect” for the period and said the monthly performance confirmed the industry’s improvement, with growth over 10 months reaching 2.4 percent.“This confirms our expectations of a gentle recovery rather than any V-shaped restocking cycle,” noted Luca Solca, managing director at Exane BNP Paribas, in a note to clients.“October and November are typically the two biggest months of the year for Swiss watch exports, hence it is encouraging to see positive trends for the industry in the most critical period of the year,” said Rogerio Fujimori, analyst at RBC Europe.The fastest growth came from Japan, where exports leapt 21.7 percent, but the federation noted a “declining medium-term trend” in that market. Exports to China were up 18.2 percent, while Hong Kong, the industry’s largest market, clocked a 15.8 percent increase.The U.S. market showed ongoing weakness with a 7.3 percent decline over the period. Growth in Europe overall was 5.9 percent, dragged down by a 0.7 percent decline in Italy, while a 1.2 percent increase in the U.K. showed exports “continued to run out of steam” in that country, the federation said.Considered an important barometer for luxury goods, Swiss watch sales are closely eyed for signals about the broader health of the market for high-end goods. Optimism in the watch industry has increased in recent months following a difficult 2016, when exports dropped nearly 10 percent.Exports of watches worth between 500 Swiss francs and 3,000 Swiss francs grew the fastest, up 20.3 percent in terms of value, while watches priced between 200 Swiss francs and 500 Swiss francs climbed 10.4 percent. The priciest range, above 3,000 Swiss francs, rose 6.3 percent. Meanwhile, timepieces priced at below 200 Swiss francs dropped 3.4 percent.“We believe the data is, on balance, positive for Swatch Group,” Fujimori added. The analyst noted the growth for those segments was “the strongest growth rate we recall in quite some time,” and added that it was a good sign for Swatch Group’s biggest and most profitable brands: Omega, Longines and Tissot.Ongoing weakness in exports of cheaper watches — the under 200 Swiss franc range — could prompt the resurgence of “Apple Watch fears,” Fujimori added, referring to industry concern that Apple’s connected watch will steal business for lower priced watches over the longer term.The analyst estimates that the lower price range accounts for around 15 percent of Swatch Group revenues, mostly the Swatch brand and a third of sales at Tissot, but that the decline in Swatch brand exports year-to-date has been narrower than other Swiss low-price brands and fashion watch brands like Fossil.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)