Swiss watchmaking recovery continues
Swiss watch exports in May reached 1.8 billion francs (+174.2% compared with May 2020), the same as in April. Compared with the 2019 baseline, this represented a decline of 11.9%, primarily because of a negative base effect. The fall seen a year ago (-67.9%) was thus not fully offset but the sector can nonetheless envisage an earlier return to normal than had been expected at the start of the year. The cumulative result for the first five months of the year was slightly down (-3.0%) compared with January to May 2019. Watches valued at over 3,000 francs (export price) matched their 2019 volumes, with a slight decline in value. As in April, China (+17.4% compared with May 2019) and the United States (+16.6%) recorded steady growth. The United Kingdom – the sixth-largest market for Swiss watch exports – also saw a marked improvement in its result (+8.3%). Most of the other main markets recorded significant declines, reflecting the ongoing difficulty of their local situation as a result of health measures and travel restrictions.