The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FHS) has just released its latest export statistics, and November has certainly left its mark.
In 2021, the luxury-watch market bounced back vigorously from the pandemic recession: It notched the highest year on record for Swiss watch exports at just over $24 billion, with the US overtaking China as the top market. Now, November has logged the best-ever monthly performance for Swiss watch exports, coming in at over $2.6 billion. The US acted as the top driver for sales, with a 32.9 percent increase from the same time frame last year.
And November may not be the only record breaker. In just the first 11 months of 2022, exports rose 11.9 percent from 2021, sitting at more than $24.6 billion. With that previous benchmark already toppled, there’s still the month of December to consider in this year’s total. This overall growth for the full calendar year is fueled by a combination of higher-priced models and an increase in exports across the board in most markets.
The US market remains at the top of the list for another year, with more than $3.86 million generated in 2022, marking a 27.7 percent increase from 2021. This may not come as a surprise, with major retailer Watches of Switzerland reporting its US sales had skyrocketed a whopping 86 percent between May and October of this year.
The same trend can also be seen in Europe, thanks to certain key markets including the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Here, we see a 15.8 percent increase totaling more than $7.32 billion. There’s also solid growth to be found in Japan, Singapore and the UAE. However, the same can’t be said for China and Hong Kong, with sales decreasing 12.8 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively.
On the whole, the pandemic has accelerated positive growth and change in the Swiss watch industry, sparking an e-commerce revolution and a major boom in the secondary market. For the Chinese market, the opposite has been true, with the country experiencing Covid constraints and lockdowns.
After reaching these milestones in 2022, it will be interesting to see how the Swiss watch industry performs in 2023. In the meantime, looks like we’ll have to wait and see what the final stats for the year hold after the December data is released.