Swiss Watches Gain 13.2% in October

Foreign sales of Swiss timepieces rebounded after a drop in September.

PARIS — Swiss watch exports rebounded in October as strength in Europe helped compensate for continued softness in the key markets of China and Hong Kong, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said.

Foreign sales of Swiss watches in the month totaled 2.1 billion Swiss francs, or $2.3 billion at average exchange for the period, up 13.2 percent compared with the same period last year, it said. This followed a drop of 1.5 percent in September, revised from 2.7 percent originally, the first decrease in more than two years.

The federation said Swiss watch sales were up 13.7 percent in the first 10 months of the year.

The volume of exported wristwatches fell by 3.4 percent relation to October 2011, with an 11.5 percent fall in sales of platinum watches. However, wristwatch sales were up 13.1 percent in value terms, helped by a 17.1 percent jump in timepieces costing more than 3,000 francs, or $3,215, which helped compensated for a drop in sales of less expensive watches.

Swiss watch exports to China fell by 12.3 percent, while Hong Kong posted a 2.7 percent increase. Sales in the United States rose 1.1 percent, while Japan registered a 31.6 percent jump.

Europe also continued to show resistance, with Italy posting a 23 percent increase and Germany up 28.4 percent, although France saw sales fall by 2.8 percent.