May 13, 2021

What to Watch: Is the Long-Troubled Watch Sector Finally Turning a Corner?

With demand for watches finally showing signs of improvement, optimism is creeping back into the sector. Upcoming data and company results will be under scrutiny as the industry seeks clues about whether the recovery is sustainable — and how business will look in the future.
“This may be the time that investors turn more positive on watches short-term. In fact, sell-out of major multibrand retailers in Asia has been improving for almost a year, while Swiss exports are rebounding,” said equity analysts at Exane BNP Paribas in a research note.
The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry in July indicated that it had amassed enough encouraging data this year to conclude that the long-running decline in business had come to an end.
The federation, which releases numbers of watch exports from Switzerland on a monthly basis and is considered a barometer for the luxury goods sector, sounded a positive note about business in Hong Kong, the most important market for sellers of timepieces.
Swatch Group chimed in with its own evidence when reporting first-half results in July, saying the company’s sales had stabilized in Hong Kong.
The world’s biggest watchmaker gave a positive outlook for the rest of the year, citing an increased rate of growth

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