Singapore helps boost Swiss watch exports

Singapore has been a major contributor to a continuing upswing in Swiss watch exports, reports the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

The value of watches sent to Singapore rose by 89.6 per cent last month, says the federation, mainly because of interest in expensive timepieces.

As the Hong Kong market recovers, it achieved sustained growth of 13.7 per cent.

While exports to Japan grew in August, the market lost ground again with last month’s figures tumbling by 15.6 per cent.

The pace of growth also slackened in China at 1.2 per cent.

Overall, Swiss watch exports rose for the sixth month in succession, their value last month reaching 1.8 billion francs (US$1.8 billion), 3.7 per cent growth over September last year.

Among the main categories in value terms, watches in precious metal and steel continued to advance, while there was a sharp downturn in bimetal timepieces, which have been declining significantly for several months, says the federation. Volumes also took a dive.

More expensive timepieces are in demand, the figures showing an 8 per cent gain in value of exported items costing more than 3000 francs (export price). Those between 200 and 3000 francs showed slight growth.

However, the exports of cheaper watches have been falling sharply for more than a year, says the federation. Exports of watches priced at less than 200 francs eroded by 18.5 per cent.

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