PARIS — Swiss watch exports rose briskly in June, up 11.8 percent, despite a drop in sales of lower-priced watches, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said on Thursday.
Sales of Swiss watch exports reached 1.9 billion Swiss francs, or $1.9 billion, lifted by fast growth in Asia.
The sector’s most important market, Hong Kong, led growth, up 39.2 percent, followed by Japan, up 31.8 percent. Exports to Europe were fairly stable overall, up 1.4 percent. Exports to France grew fast, up 40.9 percent, but were down 11.8 percent to the U.K. Italy and Spain also saw a drop in exports, down 21.3 percent and 11.8 percent, respectively.
Exports to the U.S., meanwhile, were up 5.7 percent.
Timepieces priced at more than 500 Swiss francs led growth, with a 9.2 percent rise from the 500 to 3,000 Swiss franc category, while higher-priced watches grew 16.7 percent. Lower-priced watches are most vulnerable from the rise in connected timepieces, like the Apple Watch.
Exports of timepieces costing less than 200 Swiss francs fell 9.7 percent, while the 200 to 500 Swiss franc range fell 6.4 percent.
Considered a barometer for the luxury goods sector, Swiss watch exports are closely eyed for clues about demand for high-end goods.