Swiss watch industry recorded the worst result since 1984

Switzerland exported the fewest quartz watches in 33 years as competition from fitness bands and smartwatches pummeled the low end of the market and forced the industry to refocus on more expensive mechanical timepieces.

Swiss watchmakers shipped 17 million quartz and electronic timepieces in 2017, the lowest number since 1984, according to statistics published Tuesday by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. By value, that was worth 3.5 billion francs ($3.7 billion), down 3.8 percent from 2016.

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"Swiss made" label could be only a tag

If you buy a "Swiss-made" watch thinking it’s almost entirely produced in Switzerland, you might be mistaken. The manufacture of components including dials, sapphire glass and cases is flourishing in China, Thailand and Mauritius and many of these end up in watches designated as "Swiss-made".

Stricter rules came into force last year for watches bearing the coveted label on their dial and for which consumers are prepared to pay a premium.

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The most expensive bag in the world sold at auction

Fans of the iconic Hermès Birkin bags are beating the long waiting list by scoring the bags at auctions. The much sought-after Birkins have been continuously breaking auction records.
A rare Hermès Birkin bag sold at auction early Wednesday morning at Christie’s in Hong Kong for a whopping $382,000. It’s set a record as the priciest handbag ever sold at auction. The collector, who won the bid by phone, is not from Asia.

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