The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reports that Y 2021 was a record yr for the trade, with Swiss watchmakers registering CHF22.3 billion in export value, which is a new record. This record was established in Y 2014 on the back of CHF22.25 billion worth of exports; the reports is based on the export value of the watches, not sales to end customers.
While this may seem like astonishingly good news, and we will break it down to some Key performance notes from some groups and independents, it masks some key facts. Chief amongst this is the continued downward trend in terms of volume, with only 15.7 million timepieces exported. This is a decline of 4.9 million compared with Y 2019, and is largely due to a massive drop in the export of watches under CHF500. Unusually, the largest watchmaking group of all, the Swatch Group reported growth Vs Y 2020 in all segments, high and low, although this may be due to higher sales in the above CHF500 category within the various brands.
LVMH, the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, Y 2021 was a banner year, thanks to the inclusion of Tiffany & Co. results for the 1st time. Even without the brand, which is now the group’s biggest jewelry asset; LVMH beat its Y 2019 performance by 9%. Including Tiffany & Co., revenue more than 2Xd, hitting close to €9 billion.
On that note, Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chopard, Franck Muller, Richard Mille and Breitling release figures in their own way. Some are chasing growth while others are only concerned with pursuing internally consistent values. While we await the Morgan Stanley annual report on the watch industry, out in March this yr, noting that the Y 2021 report already had the Wilsdorf Foundation owner of Rolex and Tudor beating every other major group, with some 26.8% of retail market share in Y 2020.
Stay tuned for the new Morgan Stanley report
Have a prosperous day, Keep the Faith!