Swiss Watch Exports Reach New High in 2023

Swiss Watch Exports Reach New High in 2023

Tue, Jan 30th 2024

Swiss watch exports lead the industry to new heights, with a remarkable year-end surge in 2023.

Swiss Watch Exports

Swiss watch exports soared to unprecedented levels last year, marking a historic milestone in the industry. The Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS) and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) reported a notable 5.5% increase in December exports, reaching CHF 2.14 billion. This surge capped off a year of consistent growth, with November and October also seeing significant gains.

The annual tally confirmed a 7.6% rise in exports, totaling CHF 26.7 billion, driven by robust recoveries in Asian markets and steady growth in the USA. China, Hong Kong, and Japan notably contributed to this success, showcasing the global appeal of Swiss timepieces.

Despite this achievement, the industry braces for a potential slowdown, influenced by cautious brand forecasts and the strong Swiss franc. Yet, the watch association remains optimistic, expecting to maintain or slightly improve these high-performance levels.

Swiss watch exports in 2023 reflect the sector’s resilience and its enduring global influence.

A Year of Contrasts Amid Export Declines

Swiss exports fell by 1.2% to CHF 274.3 billion in 2023, marking the first decline after two years of growth, according to the Federal Office for Customs and Border Protection (FOCBS). Imports saw a sharper drop of 3.8%, totalling CHF 225.8 billion. Despite these decreases, the trade surplus expanded to CHF 48.5 billion.

Price adjustments contributed to more favorable real-term outcomes. Exports, in real terms, rose by 2.5%, while imports decreased by a lesser 2.0%. There is a ambition to change this, as Switzerland close in finalising an EFTA free trade deal.

December showed signs of recovery, with exports reaching CHF 21.7 billion, a 2.1% nominal and 1.1% real-term increase from the previous month. Imports climbed by 6.9% nominally to CHF 20.3 billion, with a real-term rise of 2.3%, leading to a CHF 1.4 billion trade surplus.

The year 2023 presented a mixed picture for the Swiss market, with notable challenges in exports and imports but a strengthening trade surplus and promising signs of resilience in December.


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