Chinese Slowdown Hits Swiss Watchmakers

by swisscham in Business

Last year, Swiss watchmakers cheered as exports of timepieces grew 10.9% to a record CHF 21.42 billion (USD 22.65 billion). Behind the rise: Buying in China, where watches are often given to government officials as gifts. But the Chinese growth engine appears to be losing steam. The prospect of a sharply slower Chinese market – and how it might affect the industry – has dominated chatter at the Baselworld watch show. “There is no reason to worry, it’s a slowdown, not a decline” said Jean-Claude Biver, chairman of Hublot. But many watchmakers think the industry has peaked, at least in the near term.

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