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Watches ticking over to a new record

Watch manufacturing at the International Watch Company in Schaffhausen

(Keystone)

The watchmaking industry looks set to break a new record this year, with forecasts projecting exports to rise by more than three per cent to around SFr9.4 billion.

During the first four months of the year, exports of watches and watch movements were up by 14.5 per cent over the previous year, totalling SFr2.94 billion.

The president of the Federation, Francois Habersaat, told the annual meeting in Colombier that the increase in exports recorded from January to April should continue until the end of July.

This would likely be followed by a period of stabilisation because figures for last September, November and December were particularly high.

"As a result, we should have a new record with an increase of between three and five per cent to reach about SFr9.4 billion," he said.

The Federation's director, Jean-Daniel Pasche said it would be "suicidal" if the fight against fakes were not continued. A new structure has been put in place within the Federation to deal with the problem.

There is particular concern about fakes produced in China, Thailand, Argentina and Paraguay. The problem also exists in Europe - last year, 52,000 fake watches were seized in the Netherlands alone.

In Switzerland last year, customs officials seized 1,400 kilos of fake watches at Zurich Airport and detained several people possessing copies of watches violating legislation governing the use of the term "Swiss made".

swissinfo with agencies





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