|Nick Hayek, Jr. (Chairman, President)|
|Parent||The Swatch Group|
Swatch (stylized as swatch) is a Swiss watchmaker founded in 1983 by Ernst Thomke, Elmar Mock, and Jacques Müller. It is the flagship subsidiary of The Swatch Group. The Swatch product line was developed as a response to the "quartz crisis" of the 1970s and 1980s, in which inexpensive Japanese-made digital watches were competing against traditional European-made mechanical watches.
The name Swatch is a contraction of "second watch",as the watches were intended as casual, disposable accessories.
Swatch began development in the early 1980s, under the leadership of the then ETA SA's CEO, Ernst Thomke with a small team of watch engineers led by Elmar Mock and Jacques Müller.
Conceived as a standard timekeeper in plastic, Franz Sprecher,a marketing consultant hired by Thomke to give the project an outsider's consideration, sought to create a fashionable line of watches.
Swatch was originally intended to re-capture entry level market share lost by Swiss manufacturers during the quartz crisis and the subsequent growth of Japanese companies such as Seiko and Citizen in the 1960s and 1970s, and to re-popularize analog watches at a time when digital watches had achieved wide popularity.
In 1983, the group hired Jacques Irniger—who formerly served as the marketing executive for Colgate, Nestlé—to launch the swatch.
In 1997, the Swatch group opened about 60 stores worldwide.
The first collection of twelve Swatch models was introduced on 1 March 1983 in Zürich, Switzerland. Initially the price ranged from CHF 39.90 to CHF 49.90 but was standardized to CHF 50.00 in autumn of the same year. Sales targets were set to one million timepieces for 1983 and 2.5 million the year after. With an aggressive marketing campaign and relatively low price for a Swiss-made watch, it gained instant popularity in its home market.
Lebanese entrepreneur, Nicolas G. Hayek together with a group of Swiss investors took over a majority shareholding of Swatch during 1985 in the newly consolidated group under the name Societe Suisse de Microelectronique et d'Horlogerie, or SMH. He became Chairman of the board of directors, and CEO in 1986. Later he changed company’s name to Swatch Group.
This combination of marketing and manufacturing expertise restored Switzerland as a major player in the world wristwatch market. Synthetic materials were used for the watchcases as well as a new ultra-sonic welding process and assembly technology.
There are families under the Swatch brand:
The Originals are plastic-cased watches. They are available in various sizes, shapes, and designs. The Originals consist of various sub-families as well.
The Irony family contains all the metal-cased watches produced by Swatch. These include both quartz driven and automatic mechanical watches that can be serviced. The automatics have a 21J/23J ETA 2842 movement. This movement is exclusive to Swatch and is derived from 2824-2.
Irony Chronograph was introduced in 1996 (type/code: YCS101).
The Skin family contains two sub families: Original Skin and Skin Chronograph. The Original Skin was introduced on 6 October 1997 as a thinner version of the original Swatch watch. It is ultra thin, standing at 3.9 mm (1⁄8 in), hence the name Swatch Skin. The Swatch Skin later went on to enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's thinnest plastic watch. The Swatch Chronograph is simply the Swatch Skin with a chronograph function, adding two additional buttons on the side of the watch.
The Bijoux line is the jewelry line that Swatch released in the new millennium. It partnered with Swarovski to encrust the Bijoux line of watches.
The Digital Touch line, launched in 2011, derives its name from the touchscreen technology used. In contrast to other Swatch families, a digital LCD shows the time. Various models in different colors of the display are available, which include backlighting for reading in the dark.
These Swatch models of wristwatches with a quartz movement are additionally equipped with a near-field communication (NFC) chip to accommodate contactless payment. As an improved second generation, Swatch introduced model Pay for the Chinese market in July 2017. Unlike the Bellamy, model Pay can be programmed and activated in Swatch shops using a Cloud Computing service operated by several Chinese banks.
Swatch introduced Sistem51 at Baselworld 2013 as "the world's first mechanical movement with entirely automated assembly." 20-metre-long (65 ft) automated assembly line in clean-room conditions, without human intervention.The movement uses 51 components anchored to a central screw with automatic winding and a 90-hour power reserve – and is 100% Swiss made on a
The movement is permanently sealed in its case with structural adhesive securing both the acrylic crystal over the dial and the caseback, making it invulnerable to environmental conditions including moisture, dust or foreign objects – and also making it maintenance free – i.e. impossible to service.
The movement is made from ARCAP, an anti-magnetic alloy of copper, nickel, and zinc – designed to free the movement from the need for adjustment. The escapement has no manual adjustment or regulator; the initial rate is factory laser-set. Swatch reports precision of −5/+5 seconds per day.The design's peripheral bi-directional rotor allows viewing of movement components through the caseback.
A watch is a portable timepiece intended to be carried or worn by a person. It is designed to keep a consistent movement despite the motions caused by the person's activities. A wristwatch is designed to be worn around the wrist, attached by a watch strap or other type of bracelet, including metal bands, leather straps or any other kind of bracelet. A pocket watch is designed for a person to carry in a pocket, often attached to a chain. The study of timekeeping is known as horology.
The Swatch Group Ltd is a Swiss manufacturer of watches and jewellery. The company was founded in 1983 by Nicolas Hayek by the merger of ASUAG and SSIH to move to manufacturing quartz-crystal watches to resolve the quartz crisis threatening the traditional Swiss watchmaking industry.
Seiko Holdings Corporation, commonly known as Seiko, is a Japanese holding company that has subsidiaries which manufacture and sell watches, clocks, electronic devices, semiconductors, jewelries, and optical products.
Omega SA is a Swiss luxury watchmaker based in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. Founded by Louis Brandt in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1848, the company formally operated as La Generale Watch Co. until incorporating the name Omega in 1903, becoming Louis Brandt et Frère - Omega Watch & Co.. In 1982, the company officially changed its name to Omega SA, which is currently a subsidiary of the Swiss Swatch Group. Omega opened its museum to the public in Biel/Bienne in January 1984.
Patek Philippe SA is a Swiss luxury watch and clock manufacturer founded in 1839, located in Canton of Geneva and the Vallée de Joux. Since 1932, it has been owned by the Stern family in Switzerland. Patek Philippe is one of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world with an uninterrupted watchmaking history since its founding. It designs and manufactures timepieces as well as movements, including some of the most complicated mechanical watches. The company maintains over 400 retail locations globally and over a dozen distribution centers across Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania. In 2001, it opened the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.
ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse designs and manufactures quartz watches and both hand-wound and automatic-winding mechanical ébauches and movements. Commonly referred to as ETA, the company is headquartered in Grenchen, Switzerland and is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Swatch Group.
Baume & Mercier is a Swiss luxury watchmaker founded in 1830. It is a subsidiary of the Swiss luxury conglomerate Richemont.
In horology, a complication refers to any feature in a mechanical timepiece beyond the display of hours, minutes and seconds. A timepiece indicating only hours, minutes and seconds is known as a simple movement. Common complications include date or day-of-the-week indicators, alarms, chronographs (stopwatches), and automatic winding mechanisms. Complications may be found in any mechanical clock but are primarily a topic of note in mechanical watches where size constraints increase the difficulty of designing and assembing complications. A typical date-display chronograph may have up to 250 parts, while a particularly complex watch may have a thousand or more parts. Watches with several complications are referred to as grandes complications.
The Hamilton Watch Company is a Swiss manufacturer of wristwatches based in Bienne, Switzerland. Founded in 1892 as an American company, Hamilton Watch Company ended American manufacture in 1969. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, the Hamilton Watch Company eventually became integrated into the Swatch Group, the world's largest watch manufacturing and marketing conglomerate.
Compagnie des Montres Longines Francillon S.A., or simply Longines, is a Swiss luxury watchmaker based in Saint-Imier, Switzerland. Founded by Auguste Agassiz in 1832, the company has been a subsidiary of the Swiss Swatch Group and its predecessors since 1983. Its winged hourglass logo, which was registered in 1889, is the oldest unchanged yet still active registered trademark.
Audemars Piguet Holding SA is a Swiss manufacturer of luxury mechanical watches and clocks, headquartered in Le Brassus, Switzerland. The company was founded by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet in the Vallée de Joux in 1875, acquiring the name Audemars Piguet & Cie in 1881. The company has been family-owned since its founding.
Omega Speedmaster is a line of chronograph wristwatches produced by Omega SA. While chronographs have been around since the late 1800s, Omega first introduced this line of chronographs in 1957. Since then, many different chronograph movements have been marketed under the Speedmaster name. The manual winding Speedmaster Professional or "Moonwatch" is the best-known and longest-produced; it was worn during the first American spacewalk as part of NASA's Gemini 4 mission and was the first watch worn by an astronaut walking on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission. The Speedmaster Professional remains one of several watches qualified by NASA for spaceflight and is still the only one so qualified for EVA. The Speedmaster line also includes other models, including analog-digital and automatic mechanical watches.
Automatic quartz is a collective term describing watch movements that combine a self-winding rotor mechanism to generate electricity with a piezoelectric quartz crystal as its timing element. Such movements aim to provide the advantages of quartz without the inconvenience and environmental impact of batteries. Several manufacturers employ this technique.
Blancpain SA is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer, headquartered in Paudex/Le Brassus, Switzerland. It designs, manufactures, distributes, and sells prestige and luxury mechanical watches. Founded by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain in Villeret, Switzerland in 1735, Blancpain is the oldest surviving watchmaking brand in the world.
In watchmaking, the quartz crisis is the upheaval in the industry caused by the advent of quartz watches in the 1970s and early 1980s, that largely replaced mechanical watches around the world. It caused a significant decline of the Swiss watchmaking industry, which chose to remain focused on traditional mechanical watches, while the majority of the world's watch production shifted to Asian companies such as Seiko, Citizen and Casio in Japan that embraced the new electronic technology.
Certina S.A. is a Swiss luxury Watch brand founded in Grenchen, 1888, by Adolf and Alfred Kurth, and currently owned by the Swatch Group.
Universal Genève SA is a Swiss luxury watch company, founded in 1894 as Universal Watch. Since its beginnings, the company has produced complete watches with in-house movements, and throughout the 20th century, distributed many notable and important timepieces. Along with neighboring Geneva companies Audemars Piguet, Girard-Perregaux, Patek Philippe and Rolex, Universal is internationally regarded for its style of craftsmanship and manufacture. In addition, the brand also makes historical claim for creating the first-ever chronographic wristwatch in 1917.
Gallet (ˈgæl.eɪ) is a historic Swiss manufacturer of high-end timepieces for professional, military, sports, racing, and aviation use. Gallet is the world's oldest watch and clock making house with history dating back to Humbertus Gallet, a clock maker who became a citizen of Geneva in 1466. The Gallet & Cie name was officially registered by Julien Gallet (1806–1849) in 1826, who moved the family business from Geneva to La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Prior to this date, operations commenced under the name of each of the Gallet family patriarchs.
The Omega Chrono-Quartz was the world’s first digital/ analogue chronograph. It was invented by Omega SA. The watch launched at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games and was Omega's flagship chronograph at that time. The watch is noteworthy as it was the first chronograph wristwatch in the world to combine analogue display for the time functions and a digital display for the chronograph function, each working independently of one another but running on the same quartz resonator. (32 kHz)
Hodinkee, stylized as HODINKEE, is a New York City-based watch website, known as an influential editorial and e-commerce site for new and vintage wristwatches. Founded in 2008, the name comes from the Czech and Slovak word for wristwatch, “hodinky”.