The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH reports that September 2016 marks the fifteenth straight month of falling exports. The downturn in watch industry exports flattened out in the third quarter, but remained significant in September, at -5.7%, coming in at a total value of $1.72 billion (1.7 billion francs). Exports to the United States - the leading export county for the second time this year with 11.3% of the total market - rose 4.7%, while those to Japan (7.5% of market) increased 8.9%. The largest growth came courtesty of the UK (7.0% of market) which jumped 32.4%, benefiting once again from the consequences of the Brexit vote and reporting a third month of steeply rising sales. The largest drag was Hong Kong; the country was worth 11% of the overall market, but exports to the country fell nearly 40%, the biggest contraction in 20 months. Exports to Italy, rounding out the top six importing countries with 5.8 of market share, also fell 14.5%; Germany and France were also substantially lower. China remained stable.
All the price segments were affected by the reduction reported in September but to varying extents. Watches priced between 200 and 500 francs/USD (export price) showed the steepest fall, while the 500 to 3,000 francs range was down very slightly. Exports of precious metal watches slid 15 percent by value, offsetting increases in steel and gold-steel watch shipments.