Types of watches
Watchmaking industry 2016
The environment confronting the Swiss watch industry remained difficult throughout the year 2016. Swiss watch industry exports fell for the second year in succession. Their value stood at 19.4 billion francs, 9.9% lower than in 2015. With this result, the industry has returned to its 2011 level and seen an end to the growth of 15% achieved between 2011 and 2014. Swiss watch manufacturers exported wristwatches worth the equivalent of 18.3 billion francs corresponding to the consignment of 25.4 million time-pieces (-9.8%). Mechanical and electronic watches were equally affected.
Representing two-thirds of export sales, watches priced at over 3,000 francs (export price) accounted for some 80% of the annual decline, with -11.6% in value. The 500 to 3,000 francs segment (-3.9%) showed a reduction that was three times less substantial. In units terms, watches costing less than 200 francs set the tone (-11.3%), with 2.1 million fewer timepieces sold than in 2015. Almost three-quarters of the decline were attributable to watches in precious metal (-18.5%). Steel timepieces were less affected because their value was down by just 3.3%. Asia, strongly influenced by the trend in Hong Kong, reported the biggest contraction in 2016 (-11.4%) and accounted for more than half the decline. Europe and America posted identical downturns with -8.6%.