Although it has experienced a number of ups and downs, the Swiss watch industry has an overall track record of growth and is the clear global watch export leader in terms of value.
After a few very strong years which started in 2010 with the recovery from the crisis, the industry has now been experiencing some more challenging times recently.
A weakening foreign demand (mainly in Asia), strong Swiss Franc and the rising competition from smartwatches in the low end segment have indeed compelled Swiss watchmakers to rethink their strategy.
Exports of Swiss wristwatches in terms of value reached a record high of CHF 21 billion in 2014, up 1.8% over 2013. An increase that was also marked by a slight growth in volume (+1.7%) after two consecutive years of low performance mainly attributable to quartz watches. Watch exports however took a hit towards the end of 2014 and in the first half of 2015 from weakening demand in Hong Kong, Switzerland’s top export market for watches. Mechanical watches, especially the high-end ones, should continue to drive the market while quartz watches show a decrease of more than 3 million units over the last 3 years. Our latest watch industry study shows the highest growth expectations are for the US market followed by non-Chinese Asia.
Our deep understanding of the issues and trends affecting the watch industry enables us to serve our clients in this sector with a comprehensive portfolio of services covering all aspects of their businesses, including M&A services, audit services, growth, supply chain, data analytics, and multi-channel strategies.