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Is time running out for Switzerland’s luxury watch sales?

An employee assembles a Hublot wristwatch case at the company's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland,
Gianluca Colla I Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee assembles a Hublot wristwatch case at the company's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland,

Is time being called on the watch industry as a reliable source of income for Switzerland?

July marked another weak month with exports of timepieces falling 14.2 percent compared to July 2015, netting a total of 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.56 bn) in sales.

The figures, provided by the Federation of Swiss Watches, also revealed exports have also declined - for 13 months in a row.

Antoine Lesne, Head of SPDR ETF Strategy at State Street Global Advisors told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" Tuesday the data doesn't bode well for Switzerland as the watch market is "pretty impressive as an overall contribution to the Swiss economy."

In 2015, the value of watch industry exports stood at 21.5 billion Swiss francs, the first fall since 2009.

Lesne said the drop in exports can be traced in part to decisions made by the Swiss National Bank.

"The Swiss franc has appreciated quite markedly against the euro in the last 18 months since they de-pegged, so this is an example of a monetary policy decision translating on to the real economy."

Lesne also argued the prolonged dip in Swiss watch sales could be considered something of a signal that many economies are slowing down.


US tops Hong Kong as biggest buyer

Patek Philippe products are displayed at a watch and jewellery fair in Basel, Switzerland.
Harold Cunningham | Getty Images
Patek Philippe products are displayed at a watch and jewellery fair in Basel, Switzerland.

Hong Kong, traditionally the largest buyer of Swiss wristwatches, dropped a massive 32 percent year-on -year in its purchases and is now placed second to the U.S.

However sales in the United States were also in line with the softer trend, recording 178 million Swiss francs of sales, a fall of 14.7 percent.

One bright spot was the United Kingdom, where following the vote to leave the United Kingdom, the overall sale value of Swiss watches rose 10 percent in July year-on-year.

Swatch Group AG Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek told the Financial Times in July that the cheaper pound led to a "fantastic sales" in his company's shop as foreign tourists took advantage.

By materials, precious metal watches suffered a particularly steep decline in units sold, slumping more than 31 percent in July from the same month a year earlier.

That was reinforced by news that sales of timepieces priced at more than 3,000 Swiss francs fell by 16 percent.