The Swatch Group CEO, Nick Hayek commented on Sunday that The Swatch Group [parent company of such brands as: Omega, Tissot, Longines, Hamilton, Swatch, Breguet etc etc etc.] stated that they expect sales to improve the second half of this year [Are we really on the second half of the year already?]. He noted in particular that sales growth in China jumped by quite a bit.
It looks as though China is where the Swiss watch industry will be aiming their sales and marketing guns for the time being, as exports to the once coveted United States market dropped 42.7%, and an also staggering 30.3% in Japan this past year...Yikes. It looks to be yet another retail indication that the world's economy, as a whole, is shifting focus towards China and India.
This is the second story in a week about a watch manufacturer stating that forecasts are looking up for the coming year, but I would have to say that The Swatch Group being the world's largest watch manufacturer is probably the best watch company to keep an eye on for gauging the state of the industry, as well as the global economy.
The Swiss watch industry has seen its largest sales declines since the "quartz crisis" hit in the late 1970's and early 1980's.
The full story is HERE and further reading is available on Reuters.