PARIS — Exports of Swiss watches grew sharply in May in what the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry described as “confirming the recovery which has been under way since the start of the year,” despite a dip in sales in April.
The industry saw its first positive progression in more than 18 months this March, as reported.
International sales of Swiss timepieces grew 9 percent to 1.7 billion Swiss francs last month compared with May 2016, the federation said.
In Hong Kong, the world’s largest market for Swiss watches, revenues grew 18.1 percent in May, while in China, they climbed 34.4 percent. Italy and the U.K. also contributed to the sector’s growth, with sales up 26.7 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively. In the U.S., however, the second-largest market for the category, sales fell 1.1 percent, in line with the negative trend that has impacted the market there over the past year, the federation said. Japan posted a decline of 3.2 percent, confirming the market’s deterioration.
Growth was particularly strong for watches made of precious metal, for which sales increased 16 percent, and for steel timepieces, up 12.2 percent.
The market continued to be negatively impacted by lower sales of watches priced at less than 200 Swiss francs, which fell 9.4 percent in value, the federation said. Sales in all other price categories grew, with the strongest performance seen in the highest price bracket, watches selling for more than 3,000 Swiss francs, which increased 14.9 percent.