TemerityB wrote:I think the lost point to some folks is that we are gonna need the Japanese companies. While Swatch continues to limit first the sale of their auto movements (and next, the parts need to maintain them), there's going to be a need for more automatic movements from different sources. Where are all the micros and startups getting their autos from? Miyota, for the most part. If this keeps up, pretty soon, the Swiss are gonna look around and find that nobody will care whether they are offering movements and parts, because the market will have sailed on them in just a few years.
Anybody that knows me here knows I'm a Swiss watch fan first and foremost, but the Swiss and their "It's my ball and I'm going home" attitude pisses me off as much as anyone else - and now with the advent of smart and iWatches coming imminently, they better damn hope they don't get another quartz revolution on their hands. Add to that their bent on snooty poot marketing instead of educating consumers as to their merits, and you have a perfect recipe for a slump.
All very good points, T. I myself don't quite understand Swatch's decision on stopping movement sales to third parties; I would assume that ETA makes more than enough to supply the other Swatch companies, and then sellling off extra movements to third parties would be good business sense.
Of course, Swatch cut off sales (which is, really, their perfect right) to drive competitors out of business, or at least force competitors to buy movements elsewhere, probably Japan, which would further devalue their products by making the "Swiss Made" label harder to achieve.
The entire in-house movement deal is a bone of contention because making one's own movements is (and always has been) ruinously expensive. Most small companies don't have the capital to invest in the time and manufacturing involved.
This is the reason that the Japanese companies have become, out of necessity, very large and vertically integrated, while most of the Swiss companies have remained relatively small, but grouped into larger corporate entities like the Swatch Group or Richemont or LVMH. Also, apart from a few very exclusive and very small companies, the Swiss watchmaking companies have pretty much stopped development of movements, slapping in a 2824 and calling it a day.