Global Industry Overview: Watches and Clocks

The global watch and clock industry comprises the manufacture of clocks, watches, watchcases, and clock and watch parts.

Industry Snapshot

In 2009 the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FHS) estimated in its report entitled "The Swiss and world watchmaking industry in 2008" that the number of timepieces produced worldwide was approximately 1.2 billion. The world's largest consumers of clock and watch materials were Hong Kong, the United States, Japan, Switzerland, and China. These countries, as reported by the FHS, accounted for more than 70 percent of global trade.

In 2007, retailers told National Jeweler that consumers still preferred white metal in mid-range luxury wristwatches. Sales for stainless steel watches within the US$1,500 to $9,999 price point jumped 22 percent from August 2005 to August 2006. This increase created a US$1.2 billion market. Luxury Goods Index (LGI) shared this data after tracking sales data for 6,800 retailers across the country. Gold watch sales in the same category decreased 30 percent to US$21.6 million and 18-karat watch sales dropped 7 percent to US$70.4 million.