Swatch ticks along at the pace of modern life
But the event that marked the upturn in the industry´s fortunes was the founding of SMH, the Swiss corporation for microelectronics and watch making industries. And its answer to the crisis was swatch-a slim plastic watch with only 51 components (instead of the usual 91 parts or more) that combined top quality with a highly affordable price. It first went on sale in 1983. Since this time, it has gone on to become the most successful wristwatch of all time, and the swatch group, the parent company, is the largest and most dynamic watch company in the world.
Nicolas G. Hayek, born in 1928, is the co-founder, chairman and delegate of the board of directors of the swatch group, with principal headquarters in Biel-Bienne. After having engineered and implemented the reorganization of the Asuag and SSIH watch companies for more than four years, finally bringing about their merger, N.G. Hayek took over, with a group of Swiss investors, a majority shareholding in the new group in 1985. He became chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer in 1986.
N.G. Hayek played a decisive role in the recovery of the swatch group with its watch brands swatch, Breguet, Blancpain, Hatot, Glashütte original/union, Jaquet-Droz, Léon Hatot, omega, Longines, Rado, Tissot,Clavin Klein, Certina, Mido, Hamilton, Pierre Balmain, Flik flak, and Endura. The strategies he developed in the early 1980s led to the success of the entire Swiss watch industry and regained its leading position worldwide since 1984 few of his achievements at the swatch group are the strategic decision for launching the swatch based upon the master plan of Hayek engineering AG.
The Swatch Group Ltd.
Swatch is one of fourteen internationally renowned watch companies within the swatch group:
Omega was the chronometer used during the first lunar landing. Today it is worn by Cindy Crawford, Martina Hingis and pierce Brosnan, among others. Longines has embodied “the elegance of time since 1832”, with a grand tradition, timeless elegance, and unsurpassed quality at an excellent price.
Tissot is always innovating with appealing new ideas, like the first battery-less Swiss quartz watch introduced in 1996: the Tissot PR 100 Autoquartz. Contemporary, minimal design is the hallmark of the Calvin Klein watches and ck watches collections, created in cooperation with the American fashion designer, Calvin Klein.
A timekeeper since 1892, Hamilton launched the world’s first electric watch, the “Ventura” with its triangular case, in 1957 and it has created a furor ever since. Pierre Balmain: haute couture for the wrist.
Making the Best of Time
Swatch has rediscovered and created a new feel for time. Swatch is a dynamic mix of technology, design, unconventional marketing, and a healthy dose of experience. Not to mention strong emotions.
The form of a swatch watch is always the same. The tiny space it offers for creative design exerts an irresistible power of attraction on artists. Why? Because the watch face and strap can take on the wildest imaginative concepts, the most unusual ideas, brilliant colors, rousing messages, art and comics, dreams for today and tomorrow, and much, much more. And that’s exactly what makes each swatch model so fascinating: it is design that incorporates a message, handwriting that bears witness to a personality.
Swatch is a watch that keeps the pulse of time, a watch whose heart beats at the rhythm of daily life in the street. Swatch is a colorful timepiece that is as versatile as everyday life, perfectly suited to any mood, outfit, or occasion.
Swatch Technology and Innovation
The more impossible the idea, the greater the incentive to make it a swatch. The ultra-thin plastic wonder: swatch skin. Inspired by the 0.98cm-high “delirium tremens” –which came out in 1981 and then became the world’s thinnest gold watch – the watch engineers in Biel, Switzerland, had always wanted to create a whisper-thin plastic swatch.
Innumerable problems, especially relating to the materials to be used, slowed development down but didn’t stop it altogether.
Then, in 1995, an interdisciplinary team made up of design engineers, technical experts, precision mechanics engineers, and watch making experts specializing in micro-electronics solved the material problem. On October 1,1997, Nicolas G. Hayek, sr. Presented a new world record in Geneva (Switzerland): the 3.9 mm-thin swatch skin. This is only one of the ideas made real by swatch.
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