The future looks bright

Strong demand puts the Swiss watch industry on track for another record year

Swiss watch exports grew strongly in September, according to the latest data released by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH).

The CHF2.2 billion (S$3.13 billion) it registered is one of the highest historically, and marks an increase of 19.1 per cent compared with September 2021.

Demand in Singapore alone was up 38.9 per cent, the highest out of the six main markets (the US, China, United Kingdom, Japan, and Hong Kong), said FH.

Three quarters of the year in, exports have already hit CHF18.1 billion - 12.6 per cent higher than last year.

All that puts the Swiss watch industry on track for a record 2022, and it is not difficult to see why.

When Watches and Wonders finally made a comeback in March this year, there was no shortage of stunners at the first ever physical luxury watch fair in two years.

Take your pick from the lefty Rolex GMT Master II, the vintage Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222, the (literally) out-of-this-world Jaeger-Lecoultre Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945, and more.

The drops kept on coming even after the watch fair ended.

Just last week, Patek Philippe unveiled the Nautilus Ref 5811 in white gold, the highly anticipated follow-up to the discontinued steel 5711.

Demand for luxury timepieces continues to outpace supply, and watches are now viewed as good investments.

The Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2022 report found that almost one in four consumers (23 per cent) snap up timepieces as a safety net for a rainy day.

"Luxury watches are seen as stable stores of value, especially in a volatile market with high inflationary pressures," notes Karine Szegedi, Head of Consumer and Fashion & Luxury at Deloitte Switzerland.

She adds: "The scarcity of luxury watches at present, caused by supply chain issues and the current economic environment, is attracting customers who want to invest in a watch in the hope that its resale value will increase."

The study also found that the e-commerce business is likely to double by the end of the decade, with 40 per cent of consumers having no qualms about buying a watch online.

That figure is even higher for respondents aged under 40, with 45 per cent saying they prefer to click and pick than walk into a boutique.

The study also found pre-owned watches gaining popularity, especially among millennials and Gen-Zs.

All this can only be music to the watch industry.

So whether you are new to watches or a seasoned collector, we invite you to turn the page and explore some of our favourite novelties from this year.

Enjoy!

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