Watch Manufacturers Production Numbers

Mass Production

Repost from April 1997: Numbers

Posted by Hans Zbinden on January 15, 1998 at 21:33:38:

In Reply to: Mass production posted by Thanks -SB on January 15, 1998 at 3:36:14:

Numbers: Who sells how much and to whom is a secret that will never be told but the following numbers might give a hint: Each year about 1 billion watches are sold for a total wholesale price of about 13 billion US$. Interesting for me was to see, that all levels of watch-making generate very similar sales with drastically different amounts.

Luxury brands with entry-level models starting at around 1500$ and more from Switzerland (and since recently from Germany and France) sell 1.5 million pieces worth approximately 3.2 billion US$. (Examples: Patek, Audemars, Breguet, Lange, Silberstein)

Upper-level (from 400 US$ upwards) sell 50 million pieces and middle-level brands (from 80 US$) 300 Million pieces for a combined wholesale price of also 3.2 billion US$. (Examples: Ebel, Breitling, Omega, TAG in the upper-level and Tissot, Certina, Seiko, Citizen in the middle-level)

Lower-level models (Swatch, watches from Hong Kong and India) sell 650 million a year for about 2.8 billion US$

More numbers: Here are a few production numbers from individual brands:

Patek-Philippe produce 20’000 watches per year,

Audemars-Piguet 14’000 that whole saled for 70’000’000 US$,

Vacheron-Constantin 10’000,

Breguet 6’000,

IWC 30’000 for 55’000’000 US$

Jaeger LeCoultre with 35’000 pieces for 90’000’000 US$.

80 people work at Lange & Sohne and produce 2’000 timepieces a year which are sold from only 20 shops around the world.

The biggest (Swiss) sellers are Rolex with 700’000 pieces and sales of estimated 1.1-1.4 billion US$,

Cartier 700’000’000 US$,

Swatch selling several million pieces for 500’000’000 US$,

Omega 700’000 pieces for 350’000’000 US$

TAG-Heuer 700’000 pieces for 300’000’000 US$

. Supposedly, Raymond Weill generate similar numbers to TAG-Heuer.

Yet more numbers: If you’re getting bored, my heart felt apologies, feel free to zap to the next paragraph. As you know, a large part of Swiss watches are exported abroad, listed are whole sale value in million Swiss francs,

1 US-$ is 1.42 Swiss francs. Largest importer is Hong Kong (1324 million Swiss francs) followed by the USA (1044), Japan (762), Germany (617), Italy (581), Singapore (413), France (408), Great Britain (346), Thailand (203), all other countries combined (802).

Is this economics 101 or what??? I apologize, but one of the publications I bought isn’t really a watch-mag but a yearly special-edition by Bilanz, a Swiss magazine comparable to The Economist, apparently business people find this stuff fascinating: The following has been told on the Forum before, here it is again in condensed form, investment groups dealing in the world of horology: SMH Group (Societe Suisse de Microelectronique etd’Horlorgerie), 2 billion US$ sales with 80% stemming from watches and movements. They’re the world’s largest watch-company, 17’000 employees, 55% of the min Switzerland, brands: Omega, Blancpain, Rado, Longines, Tissot, Certina, Mido, Hamilton, Pierre Balmain, Swatch, Flik Flak and Endura. A third of their sales comes from ETA who manufacture 110’000’000 movements a year (Nr. 3 behind Citizen and Seiko). Apart from TAG-Heuer, SMH is the only Swiss watch-manufacturer dealt on the stock-exchange, their titles gained 50% in the last year. Other watch-companies on the stock-market are Movado and Fossil in the USA, Citizen, Seiko, Casio and The Hour Glass (retail-chain and owners of the brands Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth) in Asia. You can also gamble on the fortunes of Vendome (see below), Bvlgari and Tiffany.

LMH Holding (Les Manufactures Horlogeres) belong to the VDO-Mannesmann group, brands are IWC, Jaeger LeCoultre and Lange.