Declining Exports of Swiss Watches Have Executives Worried

28/09/2016 15:09

With its industry overview announcing that, "Exports of Swiss watches fell in the first half of 2016 to CHF 9.5 billion ($9.8bn) from CHF 10.2 billion ($10.5bn) in 2015. This is the lowest level since 2011. In July and August the decline continued. Both the value and volume of exports have been decreasing for 14 consecutive months," it comes as no surprise that one of the key findings of The Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2016 is that 82% of watch executives are pessimistic about the outlook for the Swiss watch industry. This is quite the jump from 2015, when the report stated that, "41% of watch executives surveyed are pessimistic about the economic outlook, whereas only 14% are optimistic. This is the worst result since the launch of the Swiss Watch Industry Study in 2012." It adds that 54% of watch executives surveyed are pessimistic about the Swiss economy and 65% are pessimistic about the main export markets (Hong Kong, US, China) for the next 12 month. 

Futher findings included that, "weaker foreign demand has become the biggest risk," while "3D printing has gained a foothold" in the Swiss watch industry and online sales are growing. JCK's Rob Bates points out that, "Swiss watch exports have fallen for the last 13 months, and most executives expect the declines to continue. Still, 22 percent of watch execs cited the United States as a possible growth market, up from 13 percent in 2015. Some see the United States soon becoming the leading watch export market. For the first time since the survey debuted in 2012, counterfeiting ranked among the top five perceived risks. Online is making distribution of fake timepieces easier, the survey says." Further digging (by Bates) turns up the following: "The report notes that in the fourth quarter of 2015, more smartwatches were shipped than Swiss watches, though the latter still reigns in terms of value. But despite the growth of the smartwatch sales, it is still “unclear” if they present a threat to Switzerland ... smartwatches were ranked as the number four perceived risk."