News: Japanese Watch Industry Crawled Through The Pandemic

The year of 2020 will forever be remembered as the year the world stood still. The coronavirus has also had an unprecedented economical impact that did not spare the watch industry. We have already been periodically checking the pulse of the Swiss Watch Industry, fighting tooth and nail for its survival. But the Swiss are just a part of the story. How have the Japanese brands been doing?

Let’s have a look at the big three: Seiko, Citizen and Casio (charts courtesy of FT.com). Starting with Citizen Watch Co Ltd:

As can be seen, there is still a long road to a recovery, but it does appear that the worst is behind them at this point. This is also mirroring the behaviour of the Swiss watch industry as previously reported here on DE GRIFF. As per Bloomberg, “Citizen Watch dropped as lockdowns halted duty-free and other travel-related sales in addition to shuttering retail stores in North America, a key market for its timepieces.”

A near carbon copy of this behaviour can be found at rival Seiko Holdings Corp, also down by more than 50%:

Casio is the real standout and paints an entirely different picture. An overall finish painted in red indeed, but nothing close to its rivals. The damage being limited to a 14% drop. Not in the least thanks to impressive performance driven by the success of its G-Shock range in China and its more diversified product portfolio.

Will 2021 be the road to recovery? Time will tell.

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