Swiss watch market hit by 'low demand'

First published: 28-05-2009

Low demand for Swiss watches during the economic downturn is set to decline throughout the year, it has been claimed.

Speaking to Reuters, Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet warned that the industry is looking at "the worst performance in 25 years".

He forecast exports of Swiss watches to decline by 15 per cent in 2009, with watches in the mid-range and luxury categories likely to be hit hardest.

Watch exports were down 26 per cent in the four months to April, while demand also dropped, according to figures from the Swiss Watch Federation.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Kepler analyst Jon Cox explained that falling demand in China, Russia, Japan and the US have been of particular concern.

However, he suggested that some consumers may be shopping in for watches in Europe.

Despite the downturn, one of the biggest Swiss watch industry companies has expanded into a new shop at Geneva Airport.

Swatch watches will now be available to passengers travelling to the capital through the brand's subsidiary Tech-Airport.

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