PARIS — Swiss watch exports rose 15.2 percent in March, boosted by continued strong demand for gold timepieces.
 
Foreign sales of Swiss watches totaled 1.6 billion Swiss francs, or $1.75 billion at average exchange rates for the period, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said today. This made for a cumulated increase of 17 percent in the first quarter, it added.
 
“The total number of timepieces exported remained very close to that of March 2011, with an increase in some materials being offset by a decline in other products,” the FHS stated.

Sales of gold timepieces led the way, with an increase of 24.8 percent in unit terms and a rise of 26.8 percent in volume terms.

The key markets of Hong Kong and China, however, posted below average gains of 10.8 percent and 13.0 percent, respectively. Japan showed a strong rebound, up 47 percent, and the United States posted a 43.1 percent sales increase.

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