Professional Jeweler Archive: U.S. Buyers Lead Swiss Sales

April 2001

Timepieces/Data & Statistics

U.S. Buyers Lead Swiss Sales

Timepiece exports reach new levels

Swiss watch exports reached a record $6.3 billion in 2000. The United States claimed the largest share by value: 20.7%.

The strong market for fine timepieces in the U.S., the Far East and most of Europe contributed to a global 14.4% increase in value. This occurred even as the actual number of Swiss watch exports fell 4.6%, indicating more of the watches were higher-priced models. Specifically, automatic and manual-wind watch exports held steady at 1999 levels and quartz watch exports fell 5.1%.

Steel timepieces remain popular, with exports rising 9.2% to 1 million. Eighteen-karat gold watch exports rose 7% after a stagnant 1999. Importers were less enthusiastic about plastic, aluminum and goldplated timepieces, exports of which fell.

Hong Kong ranked second after the United States with a 13.8% increase in the value of its Swiss watch imports, followed (in descending order) by Japan, Italy Germany and France. Manufacturers expect growth to flatten in 2001 due to a slowing U.S. economy.

– by Michael Thompson

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications