, a Swiss conglomerate with vertical control of the production of Swiss watches and related products. In 1982, Swatch was conceived and it was introduced on the market in Switzerland in March 1983.
Swatch was originally intended to re-capture entry level market share lost by Swiss manufacturers during the aggressive growth of Japanese companies such as
Seikoin the 1960s and 1970s, and to re-popularize analog watches at a time when digital watches had achieved wide popularity. The launch of the new Swatch brand in 1983 was marked by bold new styling and design. The quartz watch was redesigned for manufacturing efficiency and fewer parts. This combination of marketing and manufacturing expertise restored Switzerland as a major player in the world wristwatch market. Synthetic materials were used for the watch cases as well as a new ultra-sonic welding process and the assembly technology. The number of components was reduced from 91 or more to 51, with no loss of accuracyFact|date=July 2007.
In light of the economic state of the Swiss watch industry at the time of the introduction of the Swatch, its directors understood that it was not enough to offer a good watch. The watches needed to be attractive, cheeky and good fun, daring in design and aggressively priced, with high quality and innovative flair. The Swatch watches were high-tech and came in a variety of fashion and art designs.
Derivation of the Name Swatch
The name "Swatch" is often misconstrued as a contraction of the words "Swiss Watch", but
Nicolas Hayek, the Chairman of the Swatch Group, affirms that the original contraction was "Second Watch" -- the new watch was introduced with a new concept of watches as casual, fun, and relatively disposable accessories. [ [http://www.swatchgroup.com/company/present.php Company Info History The Swatch Group today the swatch group ] ]
The First Collection
The first collection of twelve Swatch models was introduced on
March 1, 1983in Zürich, Switzerland. Initially the price ranged from CHF 39.90 to CHF 49.90 but was standardized to CHF 50.00 in autumnof 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.
Swatches enjoyed their peak popularity during the mid-1980s. Such '80s fads included wearing two Swatches and using a Swatch as a ponytail band. Some models, like Pop Swatch, allowed wearers to attach Swatches directly to clothing. During this same time, Swatch introduced the idea of partnering with noted artists, including
Keith Haringand others. Artist watches gave a new cachet to what had previously been a trendy youth article.
There are five families under the swatch brand. The five families are
v Swatch Originals
The Originals are plastic cased watches. They are available in various sizes, shapes and designs. The originals have sub-families as well.
v Swatch Irony
The Irony family contains all the metal cased watches produced by swatch. They too come in different sizes and shapes.
v Swatch Skin.
The skin family contains two sub families; which are Original Skin and Skin Chronograph. The original skin was introduced on October 6, 1997 as a thinner version of the original swatch watch. It is ultra thin, standing at 3.9 mm thin 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 just the swatch skin with a chronograph function. It has two additional buttons on the side of the watch.
v Swatch Beat.
The beat family launched in 1998 and incorporated beat watches across the three existing family but adding twists. This was their digital line.
v Swatch Bijoux.
The bijoux line is the jewelry line that swatch released in the new millenium. A company that is known for inovations and fashion it went the next step. It partnered with Swarovski to encrust their bijoux line.
A Fashion Statement
Also in the mid-1980s, mainstream Swatch fashion statements came about in the rising hip-hop scene with the introduction of various colored and interchangeable watch faces and wrist bands (made of vinyl). Colors included bright, day-glow and pastels. The key standard accessory was the Swatch Guard, a thin, rubber-band like strip that would stretch over the watch face. A good number of "Swatchies" sported two Swatch Guards of different colors, twisted or braided together across the Swatch face. A second type of Swatch Guard was a 1/8"-thick hard plastic ring which encircled the face and snapped onto the sides.
Although sales of Swatch watches are now considerably lower than in previous years, the Swatch Group remains the world's largest watch company, and the Group has accelerated its acquisition of Swiss luxury brands in recent years. These brands include: Breguet,
Blancpain, Jaquet Droz, Glashütte Original, Union Glashütte, Léon Hatot, Omega, Rado, Longines, Tissot, Calvin Klein, Certina, Mido, Pierre Bal-main, Hamilton, Flik Flakand Endura...
Swatch itself has also 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).
They have now become fashionable objects, generating specialized models (the "Flik-Flak" for children, semi-automatic movements, and even
diamond-decorated Swatches). The company also produces watches with seasonal themes.
Official Sport Sponsor & Timekeeper
Swatch was official timekeeper to the
1996 Summer Olympics, 2000 Summer Olympics, 2004 Summer Olympicsand the 2008 Summer Olympics
WATCH FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour
:"For the current Swatch FIVB World Tour, see:
Swatch FIVB World Tour 2008"The Swatch and FIVB(the International Volleyball Federation) signed the partnership deal in Lausanne, Switzerland on Feb. 27, 2003. Swatch became title sponsor for the Beach Volleyball World Tour.
Swatch, being quite experienced in the field of innovations, has provided FIVB with financial support as well as timing and technical innovations, with the electronic scoreboards supply and speed of service measurements among many others.
Through its international partnership with FIVB, Swatch supports the growth of public and media interest in
beach volleyball, appreciated worldwide as one of the most rapidly developing summer sports. 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.
WATCH Ticket To Ride (TTR) World Snowboard Tour
The SWATCH TTR World Snowboard Tour is an umbrella organisation for the most important freestyle snowboard contests around the globe. The world’s best 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.
Terje Haakonsenand 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.
Since the mid-1980s, successful athletes have been competing for honors as members of the ProTeam and ambassadors of Swatch. As a long time partner of various fun & Action Sports Swatch supports top snowboarders, ski freeriders, FMX rider, as well as 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)
* Anouk Katzenbauer(Netherlands)
* Thomas Diet (France)
* Sverre Lillequist (Sweden)
* Phil Meier (Switzerland)
* Cody Townsend (USA)
* Kaj Zackrisson (Sweden)
* Sef Herm Reserveur(Germany)
* Mat Rebeaud (Switzerland)
* Bobby Martinez (USA)
* Sam Lamiroy (UK)
* David Arntz(Sweden)
* Clemens Doppler & Peter Gartmayer (Austria)
* Ana Paula Connelly & Leila Gomes de Barros (Brazil)
* Wang Jie & Tian Jia (China)
* Alex Savercenko & Alexandro Fernandez (Rusia)
* Julius Brink & Christoph Dieckmann (Germany)
* Pablo Herrera & Raul Mesa (Spain)
* Simone Kuhn & LEa Schwer (Switzerland)
* Martin Laciga & Markus Egger (Switzerland)
* Mudambi, Ram, [http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=634566 "Branding Time: Swatch and Global Brand Management"] - Temple University, Fox School of Business, Temple University IGMS Case Series No. 05-001, January 2005
* The Swatch Group Ltd., [http://www.swatchgroup.com/en/group_profile/history "History of the Swatch Group"]
Swatch Internet Time
* [http://www.swatch.com/ Official Swatch homepage]
* [http://www.swatchgroup.com/ Official Swatch Group homepage]
* [http://www.flickr.com/groups/43077032@N00/ Flickr Group: Swatch Photographs]
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