An ongoing drop in volume exports, an inexplicable intervention by the competition watchdog, problems in Hong Kong, individual exhibition strategies... the face of the Swiss watch industry is changing in 2020.
Articles on the subject:
The gap continues to widen between luxury watches and entry-level, resulting in a slight increase in total export value alongside a drastic decline in volume. Suppliers suffer as the sector becomes increasingly consolidated.
At $120 per share or €14.5 billion, LVMH's offer for Tiffany was judged too low. Now the battle is on between luxury mastodons, which includes Richemont and Kering, to take control of the storied American jeweller.
With protesters more determined than ever after four months of unrest, Hong Kong is struggling to maintain its status as a world capital of luxury. Economic recession in the special administrative region spells bad news for watch brands as shipments to this main export market have fallen by 6% since the start of the year.
When all balance springs were metal, Swatch Group's Nivarox enjoyed a virtual monopoly. The most widespread alternative, patented silicon technology, is also the property of a handful of manufacturers. However crucial it may be, mechanically and strategically, the balance spring is about materials science, not horological genius.
Not known for architectural swagger, Swatch Group has cut the ribbon on the new Swatch headquarters. The snake-like building is like nothing ever seen before in the branch. For Nick Hayek, it's about sparking the emotions and arousing curiosity.
Exposure to magnetic fields isn't without consequence on a mechanical watch's proper functioning. After early attempts to resolve the problem, recent innovations are delivering promising results. Demagnetising tools are also benefiting from new developments.