PARIS — Swiss watch exports climbed 7.2 percent in October, offering a measure of relief after last month’s decline even as lower-priced timepieces lagged, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said on Tuesday.
The federation seized on the performance as an indication that last month was an outlier.
“After the isolated fall in September, watch industry exports have reverted to the sustained trend reported previously,” it said.
“Over 10 months, the result has remained at [up] 7.5 percent, in line with the annual forecasts,” the federation added.
A barometer for luxury goods consumption, Swiss watch exports had declined 6.9 percent in September, their first decline in a year and a half, as investors worried that China-fueled luxury consumption could falter amidst trade tensions.
Watch exports in October totaled 2 billion Swiss francs, or $2.01 billion, with growth led by high-end timepieces. Watches selling for more than 3,000 Swiss francs led growth, up 11.7 percent, while those priced at less than 200 Swiss francs declined 7.4 percent. Lower-priced timepieces tend to suffer the most from competition from the Apple watch.
China and Hong Kong were the strongest performing markets, up 24.1 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively. Hong Kong is the industry’s biggest market. Exports to the U.S. and Germany also advanced at a swift pace, up 11.1 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively.
The U.K. market grew 5 percent, but Italy and Spain both posted 14.7 percent declines.