Swiss watch exports to China saw a bumper 49 percent rise in July from the same time last year, new industry figures reveal, in a remarkable return to growth after anti-graft measures imposed on the Chinese luxury goods market hit sales.
The value of exports of Swiss watches hit 169 million Swiss francs ($185.14 million) in July, compared with 113.4 million Swiss francs in the same period in 2013, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, marking the highest upturn in the past 30 months.
Sales of luxury goods in China, particularly at the high-end, have been hard hit by a raft of anti-graft measures carried out last year by the government designed to stop bribery and corruption amongst officials. This has seen many cognac makers warn on profit, while Swiss watch exports saw a 12 percent drop in 2013 from the year before.
The figure marks a turnaround for the industry, known for its prestigious brands such as Patek Philippe and Hublot. Analysts said that watches were one of the first luxury items to be hit after the Chinese government began its crackdown and are now the first ones to recover.