Stat of the day: 31.6%

The amount by which demand for Swiss watches rose by in the year to May.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
As mobile phones have become more ubiquitous, the humble watch has started to become more of a status symbol than a functional piece of kit. So it’s something of an economic indicator when sales of expensive timepieces start to rise again. Apparently, Swiss watch exports rose by 31.6% in the year to May (adjusting for inflation) to 1.64 billion Swiss francs, with markets across the world reporting an increase in demand.

Even Greece, in the grip of financial turmoil, increased watch imports by 6.1% in May to 6.3m francs, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. The jump might be even more surprising to some, given the growing rise of the franc against the euro.   

Not surprisingly, Hong Kong and China are among the top three countries importing Swiss watches, suggesting that demand for luxury goods in Asia continues to grow. Gold watches also saw a notable increase which, according to the Wall Street Journal, is because they’re often seen as a safe investment during times of economic uncertainty.

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