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Since the so-called ‘quartz crisis’ of the 1970s and the early 1980s, the sales of mechanical watches has steadily increased. In 2000, the Swiss watch industry’s global sales totalled 10.3 billion Swiss francs. Last year, this figure had risen to 21.70 billion Swiss francs. While this presents a glowing picture, there have also been challenging times. Most notably in 2008, when sales dipped as a consequence of the global financial crisis. In addition, 2020 is likely to be another problematic year for the industry owing to the global impact of coronavirus. Nevertheless, appraising Swiss watch industry sales over the last 20 years, the public’s growing fondness for luxury watches is clear to see.
A fine mechanical watch encompasses a myriad of components. Indeed, it is not unusual for a comparatively simple movement to comprise of over 200 parts. Each part will have been made to infinitesimal tolerances and, in some cases, hand-finished to an exalted standard. When a watch leaves a production facility it will be free of blemishes and function perfectly, however, this is not the end of the story.
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