Swiss watch industry completed the first half of 2023 with an increase of approximately 14% compared to the first half of the previous year.
Around this time last year, in a report aimed at capturing the pulse of Swiss watchmaking, it was noted that in the first half of 2022, the Swiss watch market had recorded a growth of 11.9% compared to the previous year (according to figures released by the Swiss Watch Federation). The watch exports for the first six months of 2022 were recorded at 11.3 billion Swiss francs. In an interview conducted with Jean-Daniel Pasche, President of the Swiss Watch Industry Federation, towards the end of the year, Pasche expressed optimism for 2023 as well. As he anticipated, Swiss watchmaking indeed witnessed an increase of about 12% in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period of the previous year.
In the first half of 2023, which continued to see an increase in sales, exports were valued at approximately 13.3 billion Swiss francs. The main market for Swiss watchmaking remained the United States, as it was in the previous year. It was followed by China, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Japan. In the first six months of 2023, a total of 8,195,496 wristwatches were exported. Smartwatch sales were also on the rise compared to the previous year, with a 9% increase in sales in the first half, according to Counterpoint Research.
Sales of watches priced between 200 and 500 Swiss francs increased by around 20% in the first half of the year. According to Monochrome, Swatch Group reported an 18% increase in sales of watches in the low-price segment in the first half of 2023. The contribution of MoonSwatch to the increase in watch sales volume has been a significant factor in both 2022 and this year’s notable data.
Between 2015 and 2022, Swiss watchmaking recorded a 17% increase in exports, while from 2000 to 2022, it achieved a remarkable growth of 155%. Although this year has seen an increase in the sales of watches in the lower price segment, discussions over the last 10-15 years in Swiss watchmaking have revolved around high-priced watches. A Rolex Submariner that was priced around 3,000 Swiss francs in 2000 is now being sold for around 10,000 Swiss francs. While factors like smartwatches, the second-hand watch market, or dynamics like Generation Z have influenced the industry in various ways, there has been a consistent growth in recent years.