According to the swiss watch industry association in biel, exports to the uk increased by 76 percent in march compared to the same period last year.
The brits were building up stocks because it was not clear whether supplies could continue even in the event of a hard brexit, said association expert philippe pegoraro.
Great britain and the non-EU country of switzerland did have trade agreements that were not affected by the brexit. But the british exit from the eu could lead to logistical problems with deliveries, pegoraro told the german press agency.
"Our products have to be delivered by trucks through france." In the event of a hard brexit without an agreement between the eu and the united kingdom, the association expects customs clearance between france and the united kingdom to become much more complicated.
According to pegoraro, exports have already increased significantly since january. At that time, there were many indications that great britain would leave at the end of march. In the meantime, the remaining 27 EU member states have agreed to grant the british a reprieve until the end of october. An earlier brexit is possible, however, if the divided british government agrees on a compromise regarding future relations with the eu.
Swiss watches worth 1.49 billion euros were exported worldwide in march – an increase of 4.4 percent compared to the same period last year. Great britain is the fifth largest export market for swiss watchmakers.