PARIS — Swiss watch exports eased 0.5 percent in November as a sharp downturn in China was offset by gains in European countries including France, Germany and Italy, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported.
Foreign sales of Swiss timepieces totaled 2.1 billion Swiss francs, or $2.35 billion at average exchange rates for the period, according to the federation.
“With watch exports having attained a particularly high level in November 2012, it was difficult to do better in November 2013, especially with one fewer working day,” it noted. “However the monthly result was practically identical […]. Once again, watch exports have confirmed their consolidation at a high level.”
Swiss watch exports had risen 4.5 percent in November 2012.
Sales of gold watches fell 6.9 percent in value terms in November 2013, but platinum timepieces soared 99.6 percent in value terms.
Wristwatches in the 200 to 500 franc range, or $219 to $548, again outperformed other price categories, while those priced below 200 Swiss francs contracted by 7.8 percent in volume terms, the federation said. Sales of timepieces priced above 3,000 francs, or $3,287, remained stable in value terms, but the number of units exported fell 4 percent.
Exports to China plummeted 26.8 percent, while Hong Kong was down 6.5 percent and the United States posted a 2.5 percent decline. Germany registered a gain of 6.8 percent, Italy was up 5 percent and sales to France jumped 10 percent.