Swiss watch exports wind back in February

Switzerland's watch exports dipped 2.5 percent to 1.6 billion francs ($1.69 billion) in February from the same month a year earlier, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said on Thursday.

Swiss watch exports wind back in February
Photo: Mike Chapman

The slowdown follows a period of strong growth for the watch industry in recent months, coming after exports rose 10.8 percent in January.

The watch federation said that last month only watches selling at more than 3,000 francs saw increases in orders.

Sales to Hong Kong and China fell sharply from the previous year.

The United States slowed slightly but continued to grow.

The situation continued to be favorable for most markets in Europe, apart from France which was down by 11.7 percent.

Exports for the first two months of the year stood at 3.09 billion francs ($3.27 billion), up from the same period in 2012 (2.97 billion francs).

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Swiss weapons exports up 38 percent despite pandemic

Switzerland’s weapons exports have seen a 38 percent increase in 2020, according to official government figures.

Swiss weapons exports up 38 percent despite pandemic
Swiss weapons exports are on track for their highest year on record. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Switzerland exported CHF690 worth of weapons over the first nine months of 2020. That’s a 38 percent increase on the CHF500 million sold over the corresponding period in 2019. 

Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) published the figures on Tuesday

The biggest customers for Swiss weaponry were Denmark, Indonesia and Germany. 

In total, 76 countries bought Swiss weapons during the period. 

According to current figures, weapons exports are on track to be the highest in Swiss history – beating the record of CHF893 million set in 2011. 

‘Death business is flourishing’ 

The news has been heavily criticised by a number of non-government organisations critical of weapons being sold to countries at war or who may use them against their own citizens. 

The Organisation for Switzerland without an Army (GSOA) and Terre des Hommes have been critical of the figures, particularly as the industry has called for a decrease in regulation in recent years. 

GSOA wrote in a statement “the death business is flourishing”. 

Saudi Arabia – currently involved in a conflict in Yemen – appear on the list, along with Brazil. Weapons opponents are concerned the Swiss exports could be used in the country’s slums, Der Bund reports