Swiss watch exports surged to start 2011 propelled by strong sales in the U.S. (+30.3%), France (+40.7%), and China (+20.8%), according to recently released figures from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH. Despite some softness in the leading Hong Kong (-6.1%) market, Swiss watch sales worldwide rose 14.6% in January compared with the same period a year ago.
Despite this overall positive outlook, the spotlight will be on the decline in sales in Hong Kong but most analysts caution against reading too much into one month of data.
"Hong Kong has had a step back, but let's not panic," said analyst Jon Cox to the Wall Street Journal. "Maybe it was because Chinese New Year was earlier this year, which maybe brought some of the sales forward into December, but it also has faced some tougher comparisons [to record 2010 sales]." rel="lightbox938"