The impact of the pandemic COVID-19 on the Swiss watch industry is very serious indeed. While all countries of the world are still facing the health emergency, the economic effects of the suspension of almost all activities have inevitably affected the Swiss watch industry and will continue to do so for months to come.

With the shutdown of production and the closure of retail networks, Swiss watch exports plunged 67.9% to 655.6 million francs in May 2020, following a sharp decline of -81.3% in April. In the first five months of the year, shipments of Swiss watches fell by 35.8%.

All countries are now in free fall. The United States (-79.2%), Japan (-74.2%), France (-76.7%), Singapore (-74.8%) and the United Kingdom (-76.7%) were some of the most affected markets. As in April, but to a lesser extent, the trend for mainland China was slightly better, given the slow recovery of the last period (-54.6%). At 102.2 million francs, China accounted for 29% of the total value of Swiss watch exports in the month. Even if things are slightly better in the land of the rising sun, it may not be all gold it seems. Sales activities and trends are recovering with the relaxation of measures dictated by social distancing. The shops have reopened, it is true, but the government is slowly promoting the normal return to business.