Swiss Watch Exports in 2017

Growth returns sooner than expected

The situation of Swiss watch industry exports improved steadily in the course of 2017. After declining for two years and reaching a new threshold, demand gradually picked up again. On the distribution side, a presumably tighter stock level was another factor conducive to recovery. A growing number of markets returned to growth, but several of them are still lagging behind.

In the end, Swiss watch industry exports fell just short of the 20 billion francs mark. They posted a result of 19.9 billion, up 2.7% against 2016. The trend stabilized in the first half (+0.3%), while the second saw substantial growth (+4.9%).

The forecasts made last year were confirmed a few months earlier than expected and the industry’s dynamic is looking good for the future. Development of digital communication and distribution channels and the types of consumption favoured by the millennials will be priorities in 2018. In this context, watch industry export growth is likely to be comparable to that observed in 2017.

Asia (+4.8%), which generated one-half of all export sales, was the growth driver in 2017 thanks to a very good second half. Europe (+2.6%) saw more modest growth and slowed slightly, but remained an important player in the recovery. The United States failed to follow that same trend and depressed the figure for the whole American continent (-2.7%).


Source : Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH, Switzerland,