The value of Swiss watch exports climbed an impressive 13% in February – but the UK market stood out like a sore thumb as the only one of the top seven to show a decline.
More than 1.9 million units were shipped globally during the month, with the value of the market reaching CH71.7 billion (£53.5 billion), according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.
However, the UK was unable to meet the level of growth recorded in the other top markets after posting a decline of 17% to CHF79.9m (£59.7m). In the same month last year, Swiss watch exports to the UK were worth CHF96m (£71.7m).
The Italian market (down 13%) was the only other country in the top 10 to experience a decline.
Overall, though, it was a good month for the Swiss watch industry heading into Basel. Growth extended to all price segments led by watches with an export price of between CHF500 and CHF3,000 (£375 and £2,240), where the value of sales rose 19%.
Timepieces priced at more than CHF3,000 fell within the average range. Products costing less than CHF200 (£150) achieved 8% growth after falling sharply for more than a year.
The three largest markets for Swiss watch industry exports posted much stronger growth than the global average.
Hong Kong (up 35.7%) and the US (26.3%) saw their strongest monthly advance for six years. China (up 21.7%) also exceeded the 20% growth mark despite an unfavourable base effect.