Wednesday, 30 October 2013

COMCO gives Swatch the go ahead to end movement deliveries but fails to decide about hairsprings

The Swiss competition comission (COMCO) has decided that Swatch can cease all deliveries of ebauches by 2020, but COMCO chose not to make a decision on a MUCH more important point. Whilst several firms now make movements which can compete with ETA ebauches and some of the larger watch firms have switched to in house movements, there is still a vital area where the Swatch group hold almost a monopoly; hairsprings. Swatch owned Nivarox supply hairsprings to 95% of all Swiss watchmakers and Swatch have indicated that they intend to curtail these shipments also. 

So, watchbrands may shift from ETA to Selitta or one of the other ebauche suppliers, but if these movements don't have hairsprings, then they are essentially very tiny boat anchors. 

Watch this space.