Watch Imports on the Rise

November 1998

Timepieces:Data & Statistics

Watch Imports on the Rise

Imports of watches into the U.S. rose 13% to 256.9 million units and 2% to $2.25 billion in value in 1997, according to recently released figures by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the American Watch Association.

By units, watch imports have recovered from a mid-decade slump and are 5.5% ahead of where they were five years ago. Imports of watches with precious-metal cases have fallen 43% in units during the same period, in part reflecting the growing popularity of steel cases.

By value, imports have risen steadily and are now 17% more than they were five years ago. A 60% increase in the import value of precious-metal-case watches indicates that despite fewer units sold, consumers are spending more per watch in this category.

Here's a closer look at how watch import figures have changed.

Notes: Import value data are "customs value." These data represent total U.S. imports of watches (exclusive of duty-free shipments from the U.S. and insular possessions). As such, the data include watches that do not normally show up in market surveys, including premiums, give-aways, counterfeits and so forth.


Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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