PARIS — Swiss watch exports inched up 1.5 percent in October, despite a steep drop in one of the industry’s most important markets, Hong Kong, according to figures from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.
Exports totaled 2.03 billion Swiss francs, or $2.05 billion, with a 29.7 percent decline in Hong Kong, where violent clashes between demonstrators and police have disrupted business and spooked tourists.
Exports to mainland China and Japan clocked brisk growth, up 17.6 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively, offering evidence that luxury purchases are shifting to other markets.
Watch exports are closely eyed by investors looking for clues about the health of the luxury goods industry overall.
Exports to the U.S. and Europe also rose, up 9.5 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively, with fast growth clocked in the U.K., up 12.9 percent and France, 24.2 percent.
Exports of less expensive watches, which are most affected by competition from the Apple watch and other connected timepieces, fell, with timepieces priced under 3,000 Swiss francs declining 4.6 percent in terms of value.
Pricier watches, meanwhile, and those priced over 3,000 Swiss francs posted export turnover growth of 5.6 percent.
In its release, the federation cautioned that the data does not reflect sales to end users and that it could be revised or adjusted in the future.