The Swiss Watch industry has closed 2021 with another positive month. Not surprisingly this was a markedly better year than annus horribilis 2020. However, against all odds it even succeeded to outshine the pre-pandemic 2019.
Big standout is that we continue to see a decline in units shipped, yet an increase in total value exported. A little detail that will not surprise the seasoned watch collectors, as price increases have been real and rather steep this past year.
Looking at the key markets, the strongest results can be seen in the USA. It is a critical market for the swiss watch industry and these numbers will help offset some of the losses experienced in other countries. The Federation of the Swiss Watch industry has clarified that results are quite varied across all regions ‘indicating a level of ongoing instability in the market across Asia, Europe and America, with growth driven by just a small number of countries”.
Finally, the watches priced below CHF 500 continue to face stormy waters. In fact, I would say these waters have turned toxic quite some time ago. This is of course nothing new as this is a segment that has suffered ever since the introduction of the smartwatch. As a result we continue to see certain brands leave this segment by introducing new models with a higher price tag. Hopefully, this will not just translate into higher prices, but also higher quality.
As we look ahead to the new year, it is safe to say that this will be marked by high levels of uncertainty. One thing we can expect for sure however is that watch prices will continue to rise as demand appears to be at an all-time high.