Swiss watchmakers expect the market to stay challenging this year with the United States, their second-biggest market, showing no signs of recovering, executives told Reuters at an industry fair in Basel.
Already the most powerful company in the watch industry, partly due to being the leading supplier of mechanical parts, Swatch has reportedly inked a deal with watch empire Richemont to supply its movements after 2020.
Swiss watchmakers expect to at least stabilize sales this year after two years of decline as the important Chinese and U.S. markets show signs of turning the corner, executives said at an industry event on Tuesday.
Strong demand for jewellery and better watch sales in its stores helped luxury group Richemont beat forecasts with a 5% rise in sales in the quarter to December, sign the watch industry may see a recovery this year.
Swatch's foray into electric car batteries, announced late last year, has investors wondering about the group's strategy in a shrinking market, with questions about the timetable and cost feasibility of the project.