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Industry News – Swiss Watch Exports Down 3.2% in November 2020, With Signs of Improvement


The FHS, the Swiss Watch Federation, just released its export statistics for November 2020. These were down 3.2% for the month, confirming the trend of a gradual slowdown of the decline over the past few weeks. This trend is mainly due to China with shipments up 69.5% but other markets are showing signs of improvement. Over 11 months, Switzerland has seen a 23.5% decline in its watch exports.

China has become the first major economy to recover from Covid-19 and the pandemic has stopped international travel. As a consequence, Chinese consumers have spent a growing proportion of their luxury budget at home, a trend that has been encouraged by government policies. As both overseas travel and daigou activities are greatly affected, the pandemic is accelerating this re-shoring of luxury consumption in domestic China. As a consequence, Mainland China has become the number one destination for Swiss watch exports.

More than ever, luxury watch brands find signs of hope in China… But other markets, to a lesser extent though, are showing signs of recovery. Among them, the United Kingdom (+21.8%), Taiwan (+18.5%) or Russia (+36.3%) were notable for growth in November. Other key areas showed more moderate declines, including the United States (-2.8%), Germany (-1.1%) or the United Arab Emirates (-3.7%). Naturally, the trend remains overall difficult as illustrated by Hong Kong (-14.0%), Singapore (-31.9%), Italy (-27.8%) and France (-29.0%).

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