Demand for Swiss timepieces fell sharply for the fourth month in row in February, with exports to the United States tumbling by almost half as the wealthy cut spending on accessories, data showed on Thursday March 19.
Switzerland exported half a million fewer watches in November as the economic downturn hit the country's key watch making industry in the first monthly decline since March 2005, data showed on Thursday, December 18th. Exports fell 15.3 percent to 1.
The French subsidiary of the German chemical products group Henkel said on Monday it would close two sites in France and cut 251 jobs to cope with the economic downturn and to boost its competitiveness.
Shares in Swiss watchmakers Swatch Group and Richemont fell on Thursday after trade data showed demand for Swiss timepieces had slowed sharply in October. Swiss watch exports rose 0.1 percent in October after a 15.
Swiss watch exports grew 15.1 percent in September to 1.5 billion Swiss francs (983.6 million euros, 1.3 billion dollars), with Asian consumers leading the buying spree despite difficult economic conditions.
As Icelanders suddenly find themselves in the eye of the global financial storm many are seeking stability and solace in luxury goods like Rolex watches, which unlike their plunging currency are unlikely to devalue.