PARIS — Amid continued weakness in Asia, Swiss watch exports rose 6.3 percent in March, marking their strongest monthly increase since January 2014.
Exports of Swiss timepieces for the month totaled 1.75 billion Swiss francs, or $1.79 billion, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. This capped a see-saw first quarter which saw Swiss watch exports rise 3.1 percent.
Sales to Hong Kong, the No. 1 market for Swiss timepieces, fell 13.8 percent in March, while China posted a 2.4 percent decrease. However, momentum remained strong in the United States, which recorded a 22.4 percent sales jump, while Singapore rebounded with a 27.2 percent increase.
Watch sales rose 13.2 percent in unit terms, their strongest showing in more than three years, the federation said. This was driven by timepieces made of metals other than gold, silver and steel, or other materials, with watches priced at less than 200 francs, or $204, accounting for much of the volume increase.
The segment of 500 francs to 3,000 francs, or $511 to $3,065, saw a 1.4 percent sales decline in value terms, weighing on general sentiment. However, watches priced above 3,000 francs continued to show resilience with an 8.3 percent rise.