Swiss watch brand Oris said sales were still slightly below the level seen in 2019, the year before the pandemic, due to a patchy recovery in Asia.
“We are just below 2019, our reference year,” co-chief executive Rolf Studer said in a phone interview on the sidelines of the Geneva Watch Days industry gathering this week.
Sales of Swiss luxury watches have recovered this year, with industry exports rising 0.8 percent in the first seven months versus the same period in 2019.
“Western markets are making up for what we cannot achieve in Asia as we had planned,” Studer said, citing Covid-19 related lockdowns in Malaysia, Taiwan and China.
He said the United States and some European markets were doing better than expected.
About two dozen Swiss watch brands, including Bulgari, Breitling and Oris, have gathered for the second edition of the Geneva Watch Days event this week, after industry shows earlier this year were cancelled or held digitally.
Studer said it was important to meet in person again in Geneva even if British retailers wouldn’t be able to attend due to pandemic-related restrictions. “Retailers from Europe and the Middle East will be there,” he said.
Oris, one of just a few remaining independent Swiss watch brands, presented the Aquis Date Upcycle at 2,100 Swiss francs ($2,300.11), whose dial is made of recycled plastic. Studer also said Oris’ business was now climate neutral.
By Silke Koltrowitz; Editor: Mark Potter
The inaugural edition of The State of Fashion: Watches and Jewellery Report by The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company forecasts a shake-up in priorities for hard luxury as well as different recovery scenarios across geographies and consumer segments.