Watchmakers of Australia
State of the Industry Report
Martin Foster made the following comments at the NSW Branch AGM
At the moment the Swiss industry reports falling sales. Swatch have announced a 54% fall in turnover and Richemont is reporting similar results.
It appears there may have been overproduction, which has resulted in the development of a grey market. Dumping of branded products in some markets.
Where some manufacturers withdrew the supply of movements and parts to third party brands supply this now being loosened up.
Anthony Cousins has taken on swatch for anti-competitive behaviour, in turn the Swiss industry has replied that it will not engage in the case in an English court but have now instigated proceedings in a Swiss court.
The decision of the UK to exit the European Union should give more strength and independence to the UK Courts.
Max Schweizer and his business were featured in an excellent watch magazine published by the Australian Financial Review on the 29th July. The article gave a personal profile of Max and his son Ralph who operate Max Schweizer Swiss Watch Service.
The article reinforces Max’s values as a high grade Swiss watch service technician an his years of experience in the trade, even making a cheeky comparison with the Apple Store next door.
The 58 page magazine focussed on the finer things of life with many articles on the latest in fine watches. A Most pages carried full page advertisements for very high grade Swiss Watches.
Financial Review Perspective
Comments in the magazine confirm that the decline in demand for mechanical watches in Hong Kong and China is having a dramatic affect on the Swiss Watch Industry.
The progress of the Smart Watch which now outsells the Swiss industries entire output can no longer be ignored by manufacturers of mechanical watches.
The apparent bright light in all this gloom is the performance of the Australian Market. Whilst our market accounts for a mere 1 percent of Swiss watch sales there has been an 11% growth in our market in the last two years.
More brand watch stores are opening in our capital cities to satisfy the demand s of local enthusiasts who fancy the exotic editions of the famous brands.
WCA National Meeting – 28-30th October, Sydney