Swatch Group reported sales of 4.1 billion Swiss francs (CHF) for the first half of 2019, down 3.7% compared to the year previous. Meanwhile, net income of CHF 415 million was down 11.3% compared to the previous year, while net margin also shrank slightly.
As I covered in the Swiss watch exports report last week, the Hong Kong market saw significant declines due to political turmoil, which Swatch Group was not immune from, though it did report growth in all price segments its other major markets (U.S., mainland China, Japan). I highlight the “all price segments” language because the Swiss watch industry as a whole has experience a continued decline in sales in the low- and mid-price segments. It’s interesting that Swatch is reporting growth in all of these price segments in these major markets, showing that there is not just demand for high-end luxury timepieces, at least in the major markets. Read More
As I previously wrote, this blog’s goal for the rest of 2019 is to cover more watch auctions. The good, the bad, the ugly — whatever may come. Lucky for us, there’s a great online auction from Christie’s going on from now until June 25. With 232 lots, there’s a lot to get to, so let’s dig right in. Read More
It’s that time of year. Far and away, our most popular article of 2018 was The Best Everyday Watches of 2018. Turns out a lot of people are searching for the best everyday watch, the best go-anywhere-do-anything (GADA) watch, or the watch to make the perfect one-watch collection (yes, you can have a one-watch collection. That’s a hill I’ll die on).
With the 2019 trade shows (meh as they were) in the rearview mirror, it’s time to update the list for 2019. In 2018, I looked at the best watches that you could still buy new. For 2019, we’re changing the rules. I’m going to look at the best vintage, pre-owned, and new everyday watches out there.
A reminder: there are no real requirements for an everyday watch besides general durability and comfort. We’re talking about watches that can be dressed up or dressed down. Watches that look as good with a suit as they do alongside a t-shirt and jeans. Lume and water resistance are nice, but not necessary. An everyday wearer can come on a bracelet or strap, as long as it sits comfortably on the wrist. And while we’re willing to pay good money for a watch we’re going to be wearing every day, we can’t spend so much that we feel we have to baby it through every door jamb.
First, up, the best everyday watches you can buy new. I’ve broken them down into three categories: (1) the Under $2,000 Club, (2) the Microbrands, and (3) the Classics. Read More
At Swatch’s annual general meeting a couple weeks back, Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek teased that the company would be opening a drive-through store for its namesake Swatch products in the next few weeks. The shop will be located next to the company’s headquarters in Biel, Switzerland, a town of about 55,000. It’ll be just across the street from the Omega Museum and nearby Omega boutique, surely serving mainly as a tourist attraction.
This little drive through experiment seems to indicate that Swatch still sees brick-and-mortar shops as a key part of its future, an assessment I agree with. In fact, Richemont reported in its earnings that it saw solid bricks-and-mortar retail growth, with a net positive number of stores opening. Interestingly, Richemont seemed to emphasize the growth of its directly-owned stores (as opposed to franchise stores). I’d bet Swatch’s strategy is similar. No matter if it’s selling online or in bricks-and-mortar shops, cutting out the middleman is the name of the game today. Read More
In a decision in Swiss court that can’t be surprising, Swatch prevailed over Apple in a long-running dispute over Swatch’s “Tick Different” watches. The watches are no doubt a direct reference to Apple’s Think Different ad campaigns from the 1990s and 2000s. The Swiss Federal Administrative Court said Apple’s slogan was not well enough known in Switzerland to warrant protection. Read More
In late February, Swatch Group filed a complaint against Samsung Electronics, saying the company infringed on Swatch’s trademarks for various watch designs. A number of Swatch Group subsidiaries, including Blancpain, Breguet, Jaquet Droz, Omega, Tissot, and others are named as plaintiffs in the suit — Samsung didn’t seemed to be just as happy copying from the low as from the high end of the market. Read More
Swatch Group is still working on its own Swiss OS and smart watch, proving its dedication to evolving into a technology company. Read More