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Selling Time: Swatch Group and the Global Watch Industry



This illustrative case analyzes and evaluates Swatch Group and its core competencies and global strategies in the changing and highly segmented watch industry. Originating from Switzerland, the Group is a major watch manufacturer in the world with a unique brand portfolio that includes low priced as well as luxury watches such as Breguet, Blancpain, Longines, Rado, Omega, and the like. Swatch Group, formerly known as Socitéde Microélectronique et d'Horlogerie (SMH), sells its products through 500 Swatch watch shops, uses 15,000 retailers and 1,000 shop-in-shops, and over 140 kiosks in global markets. The Group is vertically integrated and supplies virtually all the components and parts for its line of watches. In 2009, Swatch Group's sales stood at $5.37 billion and the company continues to be an entrepreneurial entity with efficient research and development (R&D), creating many technological breakthroughs and marketing campaigns. Swatch Group is expected to grow in the coming years although the 2008 financial crisis, competition, and changing markets remain some of the major hurdles for the company. The article ends with selected developments and future changes that may impact the company in the coming years. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.