PARIS — Swiss watch exports posted another double-digit gain in May, though the increase was driven mainly by Asian markets as key European economies recorded sluggish to negative sales.
Foreign sales of Swiss watches were up 13 percent year-on-year to 1.2 billion Swiss francs, or $1.06 billion, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said. Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the period.
“The Swiss watch industry appears to have found its cruising speed in the spring,” the federation stated.
Sales in Hong Kong, the largest market for Swiss timepieces, rose 30.2 percent while China practically doubled in May, with a 98.8 percent jump.
However, sales in Italy crept up just 0.2 percent while France progressed by 3.4 percent. Germany again saw sales slide, with a 24 percent drop that saw it slipping to the eighth position among leading markets.
Switzerland exported 1.8 million wristwatches in May, up 200,000 units from the same period last year, with gold and steel timepieces again posting the strongest gain – up 73.7 percent in value terms.