Between January and June 2022, watch exports grew by 11.9% over one year to 11.9 billion francs. Of this increase, 70% is due to mechanical watches in precious metals and steel.
Watch exports increased to most markets over the first six months of the year, with the notable exception of China and Hong Kong. The deterioration in macroeconomic, geopolitical and health conditions has had only a limited impact so far, the Watch Federation (FH) noted in a press release on Tuesday.
Between January and June 2022, watch exports grew by 11.9% over one year to 11.9 billion francs. Of this increase, 70% is due to mechanical watches in precious metals and steel. There is also a significant increase in the absolute number of parts exported.
The Watchmaking Federation remains optimistic for 2022, with however some caveats due to negative factors such as the difficulty of sourcing raw materials or equipment, energy and transport costs, labor shortages and the strength of the franc.
Europe was the main outlet, with a share of 30%, up from 21.9%. Spain recorded the strongest growth, by 41.8% to 221.8 million francs, behind France, where sales jumped by 36.5% to 573.3 million. The United States is not to be outdone, with an increase of 31.4% to 1.86 billion.
In China, on the other hand, watch exports fell by 26.3% to 1.12 billion. This figure is however higher than the level of sales before the pandemic, notes the FH. In Hong Kong, they fell by 11.5% to 973 million.
Finally, in Russia, shipments have collapsed by 64.3% over the whole half-year and by 98.3% since the start of the conflict in Ukraine. On the general result, however, the negative impact is only 0.7%.
Growth driven by the high end
By price category, watches costing more than 3,000 francs accounted for most of the growth in value, with an increase of 15.5%. Exports of watches worth between 500 and 3,000 francs rose by 6%, with the 200-500 franc segment contracting by 16.8%.
The impact of the activities in China is no longer as negative as before and could be more than offset by the other regions, noted in a commentary the analyst Patrik Schwendimann of the Cantonal Bank of Zurich (ZKB). The “Greater China” zone accounts for 29% of Richemont’s revenues and 42% of those of Swatch, he recalls. The higher share of jewelry at Richemont, a defensive and high-growth segment, which at Swatch explains in particular the “overweight” recommendation attributed to the first, when the second is rated “weight to the market”.
Around 9:41 a.m., the luxury values Richemont (-0.4% to 101.50 francs) and Swatch (-0.8% to 230 francs) were still in the red, when the SLI dropped 0.70%.