The World W atch industry was at a crucial stage in the 1970’s when there was a possible phase of transition from one way of watch making technology to another i.e. from mechanical to electronic watches. The mechanical watches had been ruling the watch market for quite some time while the electronic watches were deemed to be the next big thing. Amidst this clash of technologies, the three most important watch producing nations i.e. Swiss, Japan and United States competed with each other to maintain their market share as well as their profitability. The largest and the most important market for watches was the US, hence all the three countries were targeting the US market to succeed and in this process they had adopted various different strategies.
The Swiss watch industry had always been the dominant market in the world watch market, there had been several reasons attributed to the same:
Swiss had built watch making into a strong brand
Availability of highly skilled labour, knowledge about watch making had passed down through generations, hence Swiss had a position of competitive advantage They had much more experience and knowledge about the world watch market compared to their competitors i.e. Japan and United States They viewed watches as more of a luxury item and less of a utility. Hence the fashion trends they incorporated into their watch making was difficult to challenge
However with time, Japan and United States started coming to the forefront in the world watch market. There were a host of factors that led to their emergence.
Presence of a large home market in Japan as well as United States; Swiss industry thrived mainly on the export market Presence of low cost, efficient processes of manufacturing Watch industry growth in Japan was well supported by the growing Japanese economy The watch industry in Japan was highly concentrated and integrated. They took the best from other industries and opted for assembly line...
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