Jump to content
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]


Serious crisis threatens Swiss watchmakers

The Swiss watchmaking industry has missed a crucial opportunity to enter the market for smart watches, according to Grégory Pons, a French expert in luxury markets.

In an interview with swissinfo.ch, Pons said the situation for Swiss watches was more dire than industry leaders were willing to admit, particularly for watches at the lower end of the price range.

“Brands like Swatch, Tissot and even Longines have come under great pressure from smart watch products, despite previous assurances that they had nothing to fear,” he said.

According to Pons, the watchmaking industry wasted money with exorbitant marketing budgets, useless products, and glamorous production facilities.

At the same time, the industry recklessly neglected investing in professional training and research and development, he added.

However, Pons sees business opportunities for the Swiss matchmakers if they stay creative and carve out a niche market for themselves.

“Compared with other countries, Switzerland has 400 years of experience, unique industry facilities and a dense network of small watchmaking companies and suppliers who have been doing a very good job,” he said.

Read the full interview in French here

Swatch hits low

On Friday, the Swatch Group, the maker of Omega and Tissot timepieces, said first-half profits had fallen by about 50% to 60% due to weak demand in Asia and Europe and the strength of the Swiss franc.

First-half sales are estimated to have declined about 12%, the company said in a statement. And costs are increasing, as Swatch has decided to keep employees despite the slump.

In reaction to the news, shares of Swatch, the world’s biggest watchmaker, reached their lowest level since 2009, dropping 13% at the start of stock market trading on Friday. They recovered slightly later in the day.

swissinfo.ch and agencies



All rights reserved. The content of the website by swissinfo.ch is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of swissinfo.ch. Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via contact@swissinfo.ch.

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The swissinfo.ch website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the swissinfo.ch website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of swissinfo.ch. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.