|Privately held company|
|Nick Hayek, Jr., chairman and president|
|Parent||The Swatch Group|
Swatch SA (and its subsidiary 'Montres Flik Flak SA') design, manufacture, distribute and service wristwatches sold under the 'Swatch' and 'Flik Flak' brands.
- 1 Origin
- 2 Etymology
- 3 First collection
- 4 Products
- 5 Product structure
- 6 Sport sponsoring and timekeeping
- 7 Swatch ProTeam
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 External links
Conceived at the beginning as a standard timekeeper in plastic, Franz Sprecher, a marketing consultant hired by Thomke to give the project an outsider's consideration, soon led the project into what it has become: a trendy line of watches with a full brand identity and marketing concept—instead of developing just another watch collection, which could have soon been matched by the competition.
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. The launch of the Swatch brand in 1983 was marked by bold new styling, design and marketing.
Lebanese entrepreneur, Nicolas G. Hayek, who, with a group of Swiss investors, took over a majority shareholding of Swatch during 1985 in the then, between ASUAG and SSIH, newly consolidated group under the name Societe Suisse de Microelectronique et d'Horlogerie, or SMH, became Chairman of the board of directors and CEO in 1986 (who later significantly changed its name to Swatch Group), further masterminded its development to reach its now major worldwide Swiss watch brand status within the lower end of watch prices.
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. The number of components was reduced from 91 or more to 51, with no loss of accuracy. The Swatch watch was also known as the savior, to many of the swatch-watch style fans.
The name "Swatch" is a contraction of "Second Watch" – coined by Nichole Lopez because the new watch was introduced with a new concept of watches as casual, fun, and relatively disposable accessories.
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 a very reasonable price for a Swiss-made watch, it gained instant popularity in its home market. Compared to conventional watches, a Swatch was 80% cheaper to produce by fully automating assembly and reducing the number of parts from the usual 91 or more to only 51 components.
Some models, like the Pop Swatch, allowed wearers to attach Swatches directly to clothing. A neon-colored protective 'Swatch Guard' was a thin rubber-band like strip with hoops on both ends that would stretch over the watch face; a second type of Swatch Guard was a 1/8"-thick hard plastic ring which encircled the face and snapped onto the sides.
From the original cult plastic watches, Swatch has diversified its offerings considerably, and the company now sells more than a dozen different types of watches, including metal-bodied watches (the Irony series); diving watches (the Scuba series); thin and flat bodied watches (the Skin family); and even an Internet-connected watch that can download stock quotes, news headlines, weather reports, and other data (the Paparazzi series).
Swatches have become fashionable objects, generating specialized models (the "Flik-Flak" for children) quartz chronographes, automatic and automatic chronographes movements, and even some diamond-decorated Swatches. The company also produces watches with seasonal themes.
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.
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, hence the name Swatch Skin. The Swatch Skin later went on to enter the Guinness World Book of 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 Beat family, launched in 1998, is incorporated across the three existing families. Beat is a decimal time concept introduced in 1998 and marketed by Swatch as an alternative, decimal measure of time (see Swatch Internet Time).
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 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.
This swatch model of a wristwatch with a quartz movement is additionally equipped with a near-field communication (NFC) chip to accommodate contactless payment. In November 2015, Swatch and Visa Inc. announced a partnership to enable NFC financial transactions using the Swatch Bellamy wristwatch. The system is currently running in Asia thanks to a partnership with China UnionPay and Bank of Communications. The Visa partnership will bring the technology to the U.S., Brazil and Switzerland next.
In contrast to the other Swatch models with quartz movement, sistem51 is a purely mechanical, automatic wristwatch. An entirely new movement was developed, officially unveiled during Basel World in Spring 2013. The sistem51 was developed by ETA, the industrial entity owned by the SwatchGroup, which develops and produces the movements for the different brands of the group. The number of parts was reduced to only 51 pieces, suitable for automatic assembly by robots. Even the initial adjustment of time-keeping is done by a laser trimmer automatically, without human intervention. Unlike cheap former Roskopf movements, sistem51 uses 17 semi-precious bearings and features 90 hours runtime after being mechanically moved before.
Sport sponsoring and timekeeping
SWATCH FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour
The Swatch and FIVB (the International Volleyball Federation) signed the partnership deal in Lausanne, Switzerland on 27 February 2003. Swatch became title sponsor for the Beach Volleyball World Tour.
Swatch has provided FIVB with financial support as well as timing and technical innovations, with the electronic scoreboards supply and speed of service measurements as examples.
Through its international partnership with FIVB, Swatch supports the growth of public and media interest in beach volleyball. As the company has continuously maintained links with the world of sports, the global sponsorship agreement with FIVB became another important step in that involvement.
Swatch also participates in all FIVB Beach Volleyball world tour events through establishing points of sales and organizing side and merchandising activities. As part of the partnership, the company also develop each seasons two Swatch watch dedicated to the SWATCH FIVB Beach Volley World Tour.
SWATCH Ticket To Ride (TTR) World Snowboard Tour
The SWATCH TTR World Snowboard Tour is an umbrella organization for prominent freestyle snowboard contests around the globe. World-renowned snowboarders compete through the ten-month tour with the aim to be crowned the male or female SWATCH TTR World Snowboard Tour champion, tallied by the SWATCH TTR World Ranking System. Apart from prize money totalling over 2,000,000 USD from participating events, the SWATCH TTR World Snowboard Tour will present the top men and women in the SWATCH TTR World Ranking List a share of 250,000USD – the largest end-of-season prize purse in the history of snowboarding.
Founded by Terje Haakonsen and industry innovators in 2002, the SWATCH TTR World Snowboard Tour is a non-profit, rider-driven organisation representing the progression of snowboarding. The SWATCH TTR World Snowboard Tour is based on global grass root and key independent freestyle snowboarding events over a ten-month period from Southern to Northern Hemisphere locations. Events are rated via a 1-through-6STAR system, with points allocated accordingly, a 6STAR event holds the highest. Any rider participating in these events, from up-and-coming to professional talent, earns ranking points and a position on the SWATCH TTR World Ranking List. The top male and female rider based on an average of their best six results of the season is crowned SWATCH TTR World Snowboard Tour Champion.
Red Bull X-Fighters
Swatch is the official timekeeper and co-sponsor of the Red Bull X-Fighters. The 2008 title went to Swatch Pro Team member, Mat Rebeaud, who won 4 of the 6 events. Another Swatch Pro Team member, Robbie Maddison, obtained third place.
UCI BMX Supercross World Tour
For the first time in 2008 BMX Racing (Bicycle Motocross) cycling figured as a discipline in the Olympic Games in Beijing. Swatch is the official timekeeper and data handler of the BMX Supercross World Cup and UCI BMX World Championships.
Swatch O'Neill Big Mountain Pro
Swatch O'Neill Big Mountain Pro, a Freeride mobile event taking place in the European Alps, enables 26 best freeride snowboarders and skiers in the world to put their innovation and skill to the test. After 8 days of competition, the 2008 title was awarded to Jeremy Jones, member of the Swatch Pro Team.
O'Neill Highland Open by Swatch
Swatch is the partner of the O'Neill Highland Open by Swatch. Taking place on the northernmost coast of Scotland, this competition is the principal and certainly the coldest stages for the surfers in the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS).
Over 30,000 people gathered over during the three-days event in Estavayer-le-Lac in Switzerland. Swatch Free4Style is an exceptional display of FMX, Jetski, and Wakeboard, delighting the crowds, especially the performance of local star, Mat Rebeaud.
Swatch Snow Mobile
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Since the mid-1980s, successful athletes have been competing for honors as members of the ProTeam and ambassadors of Swatch. Swatch sponsors a number of top snowboarders, FMX & BMX riders, surfers and beach volleyball players.
- Terje Haakonsen (Norway)
- David Benedek (Germany)
- Xavier de le Rue (France)
- Geraldine Fasnacht (Switzerland)
- Christian Haller (Switzerland)
- Jeremy Jones (USA)
- Frederik Kalbermatten (Switzerland)
- Jan Scherrer (Switzerland)
- Nicolas Müller (Switzerland)
- Anne-Flore Marxer (Switzerland)
- Thomas Diet (France)
- Sverre Lillequist (Sweden)
- Phil Meier (Switzerland)
- Cody Townsend (USA)
- Kaj Zackrisson (Sweden)
- migetsu getsuga (France)
- Seb Michaud (France)
- Joonas Karhumaa (Finland)
- Laura Bohleber (Switzerland)
- Mirjam Jäger (Switzerland)
- Adam Brown (N.Ireland)
Freestyle Motocross (FMX)
- Mat Rebeaud (Switzerland)
- Busty Wolter (Germany)
- Robbie Maddison (Australia)
- Lance Coury (USA)
- Bobby Martinez (USA)
- Sam Lamiroy (UK)
- Rikki lancaster (Australia)
- Khalen Young (Australia)
- Robert de Wilde (The Netherlands)
- Igor Kolodinsky & Dmitri Barsouk (Russia)
- Pablo Herrera & Raul Mesa (Spain)
- Julius Brink & Christoph Dieckmann (Germany)
- Clemens Doppler & Peter Gartmayer (Austria)
- Martin Laciga & Jan Schnider (Switzerland)
- Ana Paula Connelly & Shelda Bede (Brazil)
- Simone Kuhn & Lea Schwer (Switzerland)
- Wang Jie & Tian Jia (China)
- Rachel McCrossan and Claire Wilson Northern ireland
- "The Swatch co-inventor welds wood – and bones". Lunch over IP. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
- Brands: the logos of the global economy – Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
- Bold, Kathryn, "Swatchdogs on the Lookout : Promos give collectors a chance to meet the inventor and pick up some of the 'vintage' timepieces for face value", Los Angeles Times, 3 January 1992
- "Swatch Plans Smartwatch to Compete With Apple Watch’s Debut". Bloomberg. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- The Amazing Adventures of the «Second Watch»
- Company Info History The Swatch Group today the swatch group
- Swatch digital touchscreen models with backlight
- John Biggs, TechCrunch. “Swatch Is Teaming With Visa To Offer Payments From Your Wrist.” November 30, 2015
- Description of the fully-automatic assembly line for sistem51
- Swatch sistem51 purely automatic mechanical watch
- Independent review of sistem51
- David Benedek Outlaws Portrait, Official Swatch Website
- Erick Gudiel, Erick Gudiel
- The Swatch Group Ltd., "History of the Swatch Group"
- "Omega Constellation Collectors: The Outsiders Who Saved Omega and the Swiss Watch Industry"
- Mudambi, Ram, "Branding Time: Swatch and Global Brand Management" – Temple University, Fox School of Business, Temple University IGMS Case Series No. 05-001, January 2005
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