February 2, 2023


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Swiss watchmakers stay upbeat forward of Geneva gathering

By Silke Koltrowitz

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss watchmakers should not seeing indicators thus far that geopolitical tensions and recession fears are hitting demand for luxurious timepieces, executives advised Reuters forward of the Geneva Watch Days occasion that opens on Monday.

Gross sales of Swiss watches have rebounded strongly from the 2020 pandemic stoop, with the worth of exports up 11.4% within the first seven months of 2022.

“For now individuals’s frame of mind stays constructive. How lengthy will it final? We don’t know,” stated Jean-Christophe Babin, head of LVMH jewelry and watch model Bulgari.

He stated Bulgari was gaining market share, seeing “a lot stronger” development in its watch enterprise than the speed of Swiss watch exports.

Whereas there have been many causes to be alarmed over the past two years, together with the pandemic, the struggle in Ukraine and inflation, “watch exports are however near all-time highs”, Edouard Meylan, head of unbiased watch model H. Moser & Cie, stated.

“We have to take benefit whereas it lasts, however we have now to prepare for a slowdown,” he stated, including gross sales have been up by greater than 1 / 4 thus far this 12 months, with some bottlenecks for watch instances and straps.

Round 40 manufacturers will participate on this 12 months’s Geneva Watch Days, an off-the-cuff business gathering launched in 2020 the place displays are held in lodges and boutiques round city, making it extra accessible than spring’s unique Watches & Wonders present.

Though not collaborating on this 12 months’s occasion, Guido Terreni, chief govt of area of interest model Parmigiani owned by the Sandoz Household Basis, stated the model was unable to fulfill demand that had risen 4.5 occasions from final 12 months.

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Requested when it could break even, Terreni, a former Bulgari govt, stated: “We’re getting there”.

The marketplace for new timepieces remained strong with ready lists for a lot of fashions, stated U.S.-based retailer Danny Govberg, additionally co-founder and chairman of watch market WatchBox, echoing feedback by British retailer Watches of Switzerland this month.

Govberg famous, nonetheless, that secondary market costs had fallen.

“The disparity between retail costs and what watches are actively buying and selling for has come down from their early spring 2022 all-time highs, since stabilising,” he stated in an emailed remark.

Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Jon Cox stated if costs for second-hand watches fell considerably under main costs, this might damage demand for brand spanking new watches, however that was apparently not the case thus far.


(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Modifying by Kirsten Donovan)