Britain’s chaotic exit from the European Union caused wholesalers and retailers in this country to stockpile watches in the first quarter of this year.
The chaos continues as the Conservative party chooses a new leader, but the stockpiling appears to have slowed in April and ended in May.
Exports to the UK rose by 26% in January, 58% in February and 79% in March.
The country has imported watches worth CHF 575 million in the first five months of 2019, a rise of almost 30% over the same period last year.
The UK is the largest market for Swiss watchmakers in Europe this year, easily beating second place Germany, which has imported watches worth CHF 452 in the year to date.
We are the fifth largest market in the world, behind Hong Kong, USA, China and Japan.
Globally, exports rose by 11.4% in May to more than CHF 2 billion. The increase was driven by an additional business day, and by an exceptional export of alarm clocks and small clocks, according to the Federation of Swiss Watch Industry.
Excluding clocks, growth in the sector was around 9%.