The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry has released its latest insight in the Swiss watch export numbers. Let’s have a look at the numbers of the last month of a pretty terrible year and see what the data can tell us about what awaits in 2021.
December still marked a relatively conservative decline (2.2%). While that is still a decline, the nightmare free fall scenario from the first half of 2020 certainly seems behind us. With ‘new watch season’ now kicking off – the watch fairs are in full swing with new watches being presented to the world – it is not unreasonable to expect that the growth will finally turn green after being in the red for so many months in a row.
All things considered, if it were not for an insanely positive number out of China, the December decline would be much more pronounced. As per the FH ‘overall, all other markets fell by 9.0%, pointing to a gradual recovery but still on a sharply downward trend. Among the larger markets, performance in the United States (-2.4%) was around the global average, while Hong Kong (-19.2%) continued to fall. Japan (-0.8%) remained steady, following an increase in November. Europe (-9.7%) was the worst-affected region, with most markets posting sharp declines.
Silver lining to the relatively grim data is that the watch world has seemingly regained its sanity and is starting to lose its appetite for bi-metal watches again. The steel-gold category showed a 12.8% decline in volume.