The United States and China were placed as the largest buyers of Swiss watches in 2021, according to data from the Swiss Customs Administration.
In 2021, exports of watches originating in Switzerland totaled 24,381 million dollars, which represented a growth of 34.6% over 2020 and 11.7% over 2019.
Worldwide, Switzerland is the largest exporter of these items.
To the United States, Swiss watch shipments were worth $3.373 million, followed by shipments to China ($3.246 million), Hong Kong ($2.334 million), Japan ($1.549 million) and the UK ($1.458 million).
Exports of Switzerland
Typically, watch production and sales businesses are highly competitive and fragmented.
The current market for traditional watches can be divided into tiers ranging from low priced watches that are typically distributed through mass market channels to higher priced luxury watches that are typically distributed through fine watch departments of stores. luxury department stores or specialized luxury watches and fine jewelers.
For example, Fossil Group in specialty luxury watchmaking and fine jewelery with a number of established manufacturers, importers and distributors, including Armitron, Citizen, Gucci, Guess?, Kenneth Cole, LVMH Group, Movado, Raymond Weil, Seiko, Swatch, Swiss Army, TAG Heuer and Timex.
Starting in July 2018, the Trump Administration announced a series of lists covering thousands of categories of products of Chinese origin subject to possible special tariffs from the United States of 10 to 25% of the import value, in addition to the regular tariffs that historically apply. have been applied to these products.
Some of the Movado Group company’s packaging products became subject to a special 10% tariff in the United States in September 2018, which was increased to 25% effective May 10, 2019.
Additionally, all Movado smartwatches were subject to a special 15% rate in the United States.
On September 1, 2019, and in a third-party ruling, the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) originally took the position that this special 15% US duty applies broadly to boxes and straps of Chinese origin in watches assembled in China and other countries.
CBP then revised its position to exclude cases of Chinese origin from the special fee, as long as the associated watch movement was not obtained in China.
Based on CBP’s current position, most straps used in the production of Movada’s heritage watches imported into the United States were subject to the 15% special tariff effective September 1, 2019, although the tariff rate was lowered. at 7.5% as of February 14, 2019.
Other major importers of Swiss watches in 2021 were: Singapore ($1,397 million), Germany ($1,160 million), United Arab Emirates ($1,089 million), France ($1,061 million) and Italy ($940 million).