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Swiss Watch Exports Soar To A Record $27-Billion In 2022, With The U.S. Reigning As The Top Market


It was a record year for global exports of new Swiss watches in 2022. Exports from the country increased 11.4% for the year to CHF 24.8-billion in Swiss francs (about $27-billion), according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH). That represents wholesale value, not retail value. Total exports in 2021 were CHF 22.3-billion (about $24.3-billion), by comparison, and CHF 17-billion (about $18.5) in 2020.

The increase, which is due mainly to value, since the number of units exported remained about the same, is a positive sign that the industry has recovered from the effects of the slowdown in 2020 due to COVID. Swiss watch Exports in December, 2022 rose 5.8% to CHF 2-billion (about $2.2-billion), compared to exports in December 2021. That growth was driven mainly by watches made of precious metals (up 14.3%). Watches priced at over 3,000 francs were the main growth driver by value for December, increasing by 13.3%. Most markets saw a significant increase except for China, which declined by -22.5%, and Hong Kong, with a decline of -19.8%. The year ended on a positive note for the United States, with an increase in December of 11.5%. Exports to Singapore increased by 26.2%, and to Japan by 20.4%. European markets were up 14.8% on average in December.

Most of the gains in 2022 were powered by sales to the United States, the world’s largest market for Swiss watches in 2022, with a 26.3% increase over exports in 2021. The U.S. regained its spot from China, which dominated the market pre-COVID. Exports of Swiss watches to the U.S. increased by 26.3% last year, totaling CHF 3.9-billion (about $4.25-billion, nearly doubling from 2020. Exports to China, the second-largest of the 30 markets tracked by the FH, were down by -13.5% in 2022, to CHF 2.6-billion (about $2.8-billion). The third largest market is Hong Kong, followed by Japan, the UK, Singapore, Germany and France. Rounding out the top 10 are UAE and Italy. Watches priced over CHF 3,000 represented the largest portion of exports by value (about $19.6-billion) in terms of exports for all of 2022 globally.

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