A pedestrian walks past an advertisement for Rolex watches China.
PARIS — Exports of Swiss watches jumped 9.3 percent in October, with growth led by Hong Kong and China, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said on Thursday.Sales of Swiss watches totaled 1.85 billion Swiss francs, or $1.86 billion, a brisk performance despite persistent declines in exports to the U.S.The federation signaled a “very favorable base effect” for the period and said the monthly performance confirmed the industry’s improvement, with growth over 10 months reaching 2.4 percent.“This confirms our expectations of a gentle recovery rather than any V-shaped restocking cycle,” noted Luca Solca, managing director at Exane BNP Paribas, in a note to clients.“October and November are typically the two biggest months of the year for Swiss watch exports, hence it is encouraging to see positive trends for the industry in the most critical period of the year,” said Rogerio Fujimori, analyst at RBC Europe.The fastest growth came from Japan, where exports leapt 21.7 percent, but the federation noted a “declining medium-term trend” in that market. Exports to China were up 18.2 percent, while Hong Kong, the industry’s largest market, clocked a 15.8 percent increase.The U.S. market showed ongoing weakness with a 7.3 percent decline over the period. Growth in Europe overall was 5.9 percent, dragged down by a 0.7 percent decline in Italy, while a 1.2 percent increase in the U.K. showed exports “continued to run out of steam” in that country, the federation said.Considered an important barometer for luxury goods, Swiss watch sales are closely eyed for signals about the broader health of the market for high-end goods. Optimism in the watch industry has increased in recent months following a difficult 2016, when exports dropped nearly 10 percent.Exports of watches worth between 500 Swiss francs and 3,000 Swiss francs grew the fastest, up 20.3 percent in terms of value, while watches priced between 200 Swiss francs and 500 Swiss francs climbed 10.4 percent. The priciest range, above 3,000 Swiss francs, rose 6.3 percent. Meanwhile, timepieces priced at below 200 Swiss francs dropped 3.4 percent.“We believe the data is, on balance, positive for Swatch Group,” Fujimori added. The analyst noted the growth for those segments was “the strongest growth rate we recall in quite some time,” and added that it was a good sign for Swatch Group’s biggest and most profitable brands: Omega, Longines and Tissot.Ongoing weakness in exports of cheaper watches — the under 200 Swiss franc range — could prompt the resurgence of “Apple Watch fears,” Fujimori added, referring to industry concern that Apple’s connected watch will steal business for lower priced watches over the longer term.The analyst estimates that the lower price range accounts for around 15 percent of Swatch Group revenues, mostly the Swatch brand and a third of sales at Tissot, but that the decline in Swatch brand exports year-to-date has been narrower than other Swiss low-price brands and fashion watch brands like Fossil.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)