A record 1st half-year in 2022 for the Swiss watchmaking industry!

Watch exports rose to most markets in the first six months of the year, with the exception of China and Hong Kong.

The deterioration in macroeconomic, geopolitical and health conditions has so far had only a limited impact, notes the Fédération horlogère (FH), with a significant increase in the absolute number of timepieces exported.

Between January and June 2022, watch exports rose by 11.9% year-on-year to 11.9 billion francs. 70% of this increase concerned mechanical watches in precious metals and steel.

The FH remains optimistic for 2022, albeit with some concerns linked to the difficulty of sourcing raw materials or equipment, energy and transport costs, labour shortages and the strength of the Swiss franc.

Europe was the main growth market, accounting for 30% of the total, up 21.9%. Among the European nations, Spain recorded the strongest growth, up 41.8% to 221.8 million francs, behind France, which rose 36.5% to 573.3 million. The United States strongly supported this trend, with an increase of 31.4% to CHF 1.86 billion.

China, on the other hand, fell by 26.3% to 1.12 billion. This figure is nonetheless higher than the pre-pandemic level, notes the FH. In Hong Kong, shipments fell by 11.5% to 973 million.

As for Russia, shipments have logically plummeted by 64.3% in six months, and by 98.3% since the start of the conflict in Ukraine. However, the negative impact from Russia represents only 0.7%.

By price category, watches costing more than 3000 francs accounted for most of the growth in value, with an increase of 15.5%. Watches worth between 500 and 3000 francs rose by 6%, while the 200-500 franc segment contracted by 16.8%. The question of the positioning of the mid-range segment of the Swiss watchmaking industry therefore remains topical.

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