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Federation of the
Swiss Watch Industry FHS

Very good month for Swiss watch exportsSwiss watchmaking in August 2010: Faster growth

August was a very good month for Swiss watch exports. Their value exceeded one billion francs (1.07 billion), nearly equalling the 2008 result. Monthly growth peaked at +24.1%. With two-thirds of the year now behind us, the branch is 20.1% higher and has grown at a sustained pace since last January. Gold watches set the tone in August with a gain of almost 40% in value. Bimetal timepieces also reported a better than average sales rise. In terms of the number of pieces, all the materials moved ahead. The increase was more pronounced for precious metals and bimetal watches.

Wrist watches in the 200 to 500 franc price range (export price) and those costing more than 3000 francs reported gains of almost 40%. Progress was slower in the other segments. This monthly trend does not fully reflect the cumulative result since January; in that period sales growth of the four price ranges has been more uniform.

Several markets reported particularly strong growth in August. Watch exports to Hong Kong rose by over 50%, as they did to France. On the other hand, sales growth to the United States was well below the world average. The value of sales to Singapore showed one of the strongest upward variations of all. Although China has posted by far the most sustained growth in the first eight months of the year, its pace has slowed in recent months. Growth in August can only be described as modest. Japan, the seventh most important market (+14.6%), made strong gains for the third month in a row, significantly reversing a medium-term trend which remains negative.