PARIS — Swiss watch exports advanced 6.6 percent in July, spurred by business in Asia and bimetal timepieces, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said on Tuesday.
Exports in the month totaled 1.8 billion Swiss francs, or $1.82 billion.
In the January-to-July period, sales of Swiss watches abroad gained 10 percent against the same seven months in 2017.
Results on a geographic basis were mixed in July. Sales in Hong Kong, the sector’s most important market, led the growth, up 26.8 percent, and contributed 37 percent of the gains worldwide. Exports to Japan rose 16.6 percent, while they increased 7.6 percent in the U.K.
With a downward trend were sales of Swiss watches in the U.S., which declined 0.7 percent, and China, where revenues dipped 0.4 percent. In France, they were down 1 percent and in Italy, by 9.1 percent.
July saw bimetal watches posting the largest increase, up 66.5 percent in unit terms and 17.3 percent on a value basis, while steel timepieces registered a 16.9 percent gain in volume and 6.5 percent in value.
“The trend of volumes was held back by the decline of the other metals category [-14.5 percent], which has seen a series of significant falls since the start of the year,” the federation said.
Sales of watches with export prices of less than 200 francs notched up the strongest growth, up 12.4 percent in units and 11.2 percent in value, due to steel and bimetal models.
“Substantial gains made by timepieces priced above 500 francs boosted the overall result,” the federation said.
The category of timepieces costing 200 Swiss francs to 500 Swiss francs fell for the second subsequent month, dipping 0.9 percent in units and down 3 percent in value.