PARIS — Swiss watch exports continued to slide in February, falling 10 percent, with all categories contributing to the decline that was in line with the downturn reported for all of 2016, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said on Tuesday.
Foreign sales of Swiss timepieces totaled 1.49 billion Swiss francs, or $1.49 billion. Watches made of precious metal registered a 16.6 percent sales drop, while steel timepieces posted a 6.1 percent decline and gold-and-steel watches, a 4.9 percent retreat.
“The downturn proved distinctly more severe at the two ends of the price scale,” the federation said. “The export value of watches priced at less than [export price] 200 francs [or $200] lost more than 20 percent, while the reduction was down 11.9 percent for timepieces priced at over 3,000 francs [or $2,997]. Between the two, export sales fell more moderately at minus 4 percent.”
Dollar figures are converted at average exchange for the period to which they refer.
The downturn in Hong Kong, the number-one market for Swiss watches, continued to flatten out cautiously, tumbling 12.1 percent. The U.S. posted a 26.2 percent drop, among the most severe falls, following two months of rising figures.
The Swiss watch market in Japan was down 17.3 percent, and Italy, Germany and France all reported declines, as well.
But China registered a new monthly rise, for the sixth time in the last seven months. And exports to the U.K. advanced 6.4 percent.