Zürcher Nachrichten - Good times: Luxury watchmakers face soaring demand

EUR -
AED 4.015568
AFN 77.462602
ALL 100.23676
AMD 424.436429
ANG 1.969812
AOA 954.017417
ARS 1008.815402
AUD 1.621988
AWG 1.968416
AZN 1.86165
BAM 1.955282
BBD 2.206789
BDT 128.406009
BGN 1.954876
BHD 0.41207
BIF 3147.099456
BMD 1.093261
BND 1.46516
BOB 7.552279
BRL 5.947639
BSD 1.092996
BTN 91.316938
BWP 14.769049
BYN 3.576858
BYR 21427.907663
BZD 2.20309
CAD 1.494799
CDF 3104.860599
CHF 0.969329
CLF 0.036075
CLP 995.410813
CNY 7.936198
CNH 7.94833
COP 4350.00738
CRC 571.345437
CUC 1.093261
CUP 28.971406
CVE 110.254471
CZK 25.292581
DJF 194.594297
DKK 7.459563
DOP 64.493841
DZD 146.677282
EGP 52.705875
ERN 16.398909
ETB 62.771205
FJD 2.433871
FKP 0.842423
GBP 0.839028
GEL 2.968217
GGP 0.842423
GHS 16.853082
GIP 0.842423
GMD 74.095741
GNF 9413.508082
GTQ 8.474191
GYD 228.659797
HKD 8.535731
HNL 27.066835
HRK 7.55219
HTG 144.276222
HUF 391.338091
IDR 17631.06828
ILS 3.968727
IMP 0.842423
INR 91.355971
IQD 1431.763269
IRR 46026.271127
ISK 149.30625
JEP 0.842423
JMD 170.973672
JOD 0.774795
JPY 171.200279
KES 142.124422
KGS 92.881012
KHR 4488.571347
KMF 494.20844
KPW 983.934918
KRW 1507.890108
KWD 0.334035
KYD 0.91078
KZT 519.670372
LAK 24209.688007
LBP 97875.553014
LKR 332.002113
LRD 213.125748
LSL 19.882001
LTL 3.228114
LVL 0.661302
LYD 5.284495
MAD 10.743274
MDL 19.355443
MGA 4917.530382
MKD 61.61757
MMK 3550.867767
MNT 3771.749431
MOP 8.788639
MRU 43.262548
MUR 50.913229
MVR 16.832832
MWK 1895.149676
MXN 19.437405
MYR 5.09842
MZN 69.859342
NAD 19.882001
NGN 1765.441372
NIO 40.236158
NOK 11.760511
NPR 146.112046
NZD 1.79696
OMR 0.420867
PAB 1.092996
PEN 4.060512
PGK 4.279591
PHP 63.695524
PKR 304.422814
PLN 4.295164
PYG 8253.815073
QAR 3.987045
RON 4.968103
RSD 117.037884
RUB 96.371801
RWF 1431.210956
SAR 4.100477
SBD 9.246366
SCR 14.832327
SDG 657.049748
SEK 11.511668
SGD 1.465762
SHP 0.842423
SLE 24.978056
SLL 22925.132054
SOS 624.640348
SRD 32.463288
STD 22628.287033
SVC 9.561469
SYP 2746.850447
SZL 19.877102
THB 39.283591
TJS 11.639763
TMT 3.837345
TND 3.391702
TOP 2.58168
TRY 36.182875
TTD 7.419291
TWD 35.551191
TZS 2901.823052
UAH 45.33757
UGX 4043.61384
USD 1.093261
UYU 43.888382
UZS 13753.359249
VEF 3960393.939438
VES 39.875717
VND 27686.82457
VUV 129.794125
WST 3.065075
XAF 655.894363
XAG 0.035359
XAU 0.000443
XCD 2.954591
XDR 0.824421
XOF 655.894363
XPF 119.331742
YER 273.670464
ZAR 19.87209
ZMK 9840.662648
ZMW 28.499278
ZWL 352.029466
  • GSK

    1.0300

    39.93

    +2.58%

  • CMSC

    -0.1600

    24.26

    -0.66%

  • NGG

    0.4200

    61.41

    +0.68%

  • BCC

    -1.0230

    135.777

    -0.75%

  • SCS

    0.1550

    13.905

    +1.11%

  • RIO

    -0.2100

    66.11

    -0.32%

  • CMSD

    -0.0250

    24.53

    -0.1%

  • RYCEF

    0.0200

    5.94

    +0.34%

  • RBGPF

    0.0000

    56.9

    0%

  • BCE

    0.1700

    33.12

    +0.51%

  • BTI

    0.4800

    32.62

    +1.47%

  • AZN

    1.0750

    79.665

    +1.35%

  • JRI

    0.0100

    12.61

    +0.08%

  • VOD

    0.1500

    9.18

    +1.63%

  • BP

    0.5550

    35.445

    +1.57%

  • RELX

    -0.6500

    45.66

    -1.42%

Good times: Luxury watchmakers face soaring demand
Good times: Luxury watchmakers face soaring demand

Good times: Luxury watchmakers face soaring demand

Times have been so good for luxury watchmakers that they are running behind demand, forcing some to delay the release of new collections and others to invest more in production capacity.

Text size:

After the pandemic severely hit the global economy in 2020, the sector enjoyed a spectacular recovery last year and started 2022 with a bang, though Russia's war in Ukraine created new uncertainties.

Watches were the best performing business for French luxury group Hermes, with sales soaring by 73 percent last year.

"We had an extraordinary year in the watches business," Hermes vice president Guillaume de Seynes told AFP at Watches and Wonders in Geneva this week, one of the industry's biggest annual showcases.

"We can feel a very strong dynamic for watchmaking everywhere in the world," he said, adding that there was hot demand for a men's watch model last year.

"We could have even sold more if we had been able to make more," de Seynes said, noting that watchmakers face a "demand phenomenon that exceeds production capacity."

His priority for 2022 is to invest in production.

- Solid year -

The Oris brand also had "a very strong year", said its chief executive, Rolf Studer.

Oris watches range between 1,800 and 7,200 Swiss francs ($1,928 and $7,710 or 1,767 euros and 7,064 euros).

The company had to delay the launch of a new collection in the higher price range because it did not produce enough watch movements -- their internal mechanisms -- in its workshops.

The watch was supposed to come out last summer but it is only launching now.

"We planned too conservatively," Studer said.

"So we decided to keep the movements for the watches that were already out instead of launching new models and not be able to supply existing models already on the market," he added.

Swiss watch exports rebounded last year, rising by 31.2 percent after a 21.8-percent contraction in 2020, when countries closed borders and went into strict Covid lockdowns.

Exports have not only exceeded pre-pandemic levels, they beat their 2014 record, too.

They went up by almost 16 percent in the first two months of this year, according to industry data, though the recovery has been seen only in watches worth more than 3,000 Swiss francs.

- Wait list -

The sector is now bracing for the fallout from the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, which has a sizeable rich client base.

But the industry can rely on long wait lists for higher-end timepieces.

"Since we didn't have enough watches for other markets, we will sell those that won't be delivered to Russia elsewhere," Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie., told AFP.

All of his 2022 production is already pre-sold to retailers and partly pre-paid by final customers.

H. Moser only makes 2,000 watches per year at an average price of 45,000 Swiss francs. The watchmaker is even rejecting orders for timepieces that require a more than two-year wait.

"There's uncertainty that can be created in other markets, particularly financial markets," Meylan said.

"But we would have to have a big crash for an independent brand like ours to be affected," he added.

G.Kuhn--NZN