By  on July 21, 2011

PARIS — Buoyed by strong results in Asia, with the exception of Japan, Swiss watch sales in June rose 10.1 percent, to 1.58 billion Swiss francs, or $1.92 billion.

Gold timepieces continued to lead the way, gaining 25.7 percent, with steel timepieces registering a below-average increase.

First-half sales increased 19.3 percent versus the year-ago period, to 8.7 billion Swiss francs, or $10.34 billion.

Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the respective periods.

June exports on wristwatches to Hong Kong leapt 20.9 percent, while exports to China increased 9.2 percent.

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said Thursday watch sales were evenly distributed across segments. Timepieces priced below 200 Swiss francs ($240 at current exchange rates) proved an exception, rising 24 percent.

In a research note, Citigroup analyst Thomas Chauvet cited a positive outlook for the industry despite tough comparatives expected in the coming months.

“The outcome of the Baselworld watch fair in March and recent industry data points give us greater confidence that the Swiss watch industry could grow above our 12 percent forecast for the year, driven once again by price/mix rather than volumes,” he wrote.

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