PARIS — Swiss watch exports dropped 9.7 percent in May, dragged down by the sharp decline in watches in precious metals, with all major territories contributing to the slide, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported.
This comes on the heels of a 11.1 percent drop in April and a 16.1 percent drop in March.
The decrease of watches in precious metals stood at 23.6 percent in value terms in May, while sales of watches in other metals were flat. The categories of steel and gold-steel were down 4.3 and 4.7 percent respectively.
Foreign sales of Swiss watches totaled 1.6 billion Swiss francs, or $1.67 billion at average exchange rates for the period, according to the federation.
Exports to Hong Kong, the number-one market for Swiss timepieces, were down 16.8 percent in April, and the U.S. slid 2.1 percent. Exports to Italy, Japan, the U.K. and France declined 20.9 percent, 7.7 percent, 2.5 percent and 18.4 percent respectively.
“All price segments lost ground, but not in equal measure,” the federation noted. Timepieces costing between 500 and 3,000 francs, or $521 and $3,124, were the least affected by the downward trend. The average decrease was 2.4 percent in value terms and 2.9 percent in volume terms. For those below 200 francs, or $208, the average decrease was 5.5 percent in value terms and 6.1 percent in volume terms.
The contraction was particularly marked between 200 and 500 francs, or $208 and $521, while timepieces priced over 3,000 francs, or $3,124 also posted a double-digit decline. The two segments were down 16.8 percent and 14.6 percent in value terms respectively.