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The continued polarisation of the Swiss watch market

The continued polarisation of the Swiss watch market

It's an impressive figure and one that speaks for itself: 350 Swiss watch brands compete in a market that is dominated for 75% by the four largest groups: Swatch, Rolex, Richemont and LVMH Symptomatic of an ongoing high level of consolidation within the branch, this is one of the key findings of the 2019 report on the Swiss watch market by US investment bank Morgan Stanley, in collaboration with Swiss consultancy firm LuxeConsult The report calculates that sales of Swiss watches at retail in 2018 came to CHF 519 billion.

By way of comparison, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, Swiss watch exports at ex-works price amounted to CHF 21.2 billion in 2018 Morgan Stanley goes on to identify the handful of brands whose turnover exceeded CHF 1 billion in 2018 This is, the report says, partly a reflection of their high-end positioning, with average price points at retail that range from CHF 12,200 at Rolex to CHF 50,000 at Audemars Piguet, then CHF 53,300 at Patek Philippe, rising to CHF 139,000 at Richard Mille.

Figures from the FH show that the only segments to post growth in 2018 were Swiss watches with an ex-works price of between CHF 500 and CHF 3,000, and CHF 3,000 and above, which gained 7% and 7.3% respectively By way of example, the report singles out Tudor which, with a relatively modest average retail price of CHF 3,300 and sales in the region of CHF 280 million in 2018, has done significantly better in recent years than the likes of Breguet or Girard-Perregaux. . More

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