Swiss watch exports rose for the first time in March, ending their longest slump on record.
Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry figures show shipments to the major market of Hong Kong led the way, reversing an almost two-year decline.
Is this a sign things are on the up? Not necessarily – for a start the Federation noted there were two extra working days in the month without which the result would have been less impressive.
That said shipments to Hong Kong rallied 18 per cent for the month while China rallied 38 per cent, the biggest advance in two years and the sixth consecutive monthly gain there, while exports to the US rose 16 per cent.
And Australia? Up 21.1 per cent this March compared with March 2016. In total Swiss watch exports – viewed as a yardstick for demand – grew 7.5 per cent to 1.6 billion Swiss francs for the month, still well shy of the 2 billion-odd figure of a few years back.
For a behind-the-scenes update on all matters wristworthy, please sign up for our free weekly watch-next newsletter.