Swiss Watch Exports Rose 1.2% in May

The business was spurred in part by precious metal timepieces.

PARIS — Swiss watch exports increased 1.2 percent in May, spurred in part by precious metal timepieces, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported.


Foreign sales of Swiss watches totaled 1.9 billion Swiss francs, or $2.14 billion, according to the federation.


Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the period in question.


Sales for the categories of gold and gold steel grew 3.4 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, in value terms, while those of other metals and steel rose 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent. Sales for the category of other materials declined 9.6 percent on a value basis.


The number of timepieces exported fell 4.7 percent, due to the decrease in the three main material groups.


Watches costing less than 200 Swiss francs, or $225, continued losing ground, with a revenue dip of 4.4 percent. For the first time in more than a year, those priced between 200 francs and 500 francs, or $563, posted a decline, losing 1.7 percent. Meanwhile, those in the range of 500 francs to 3,000 francs, or $3,378, had mixed results — with a rise in volume and fall in value.


Watches costing more than 3,000 francs registered increases in both volume and value terms.


Exports to Japan rose 9.8 percent and sales to the U.S. and France gained 3.2 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively. In contrast, exports to China declined 1.4 percent and those to Hong Kong dipped 0.8 percent.


Since the start of 2014, the value of exports has been 8.7 billion francs, or $9.8 billion, a 3.3 percent year-over-year increase.


“The rebound in growth remains moderate, but is perfectly in line with forecasts for the first half,” the federation said.