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Breitling one of the first luxury watchmakers making the break from Swatch

Swatch stops providing parts for Swiss watchmakers

This year has been a tough one for many Swiss manufacturers of luxury watches. The laws in Switzerland are pretty specific about how much of the watch parts that need to go into a watch in order for the watch to receive the coveted “Made in Switzerland” logo stamped on their watches. In the past and for several decades, all of these movements have been provided by Swatch group. This allowed smaller and newer companies the ability to create very intricate timepieces at the fraction of the development cost.

Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime Watch

Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime Watch

Starting in 2012, Swatch is ceasing providing movements for their competitors to focus more on their own name brands:

Many saw the writing on the wall nearly a decade ago, when the Swatch Group announced its strategic plan. “It was very clear to us that we had to verticalize production in-house in order to remain independent,” says Jean-Paul Girardin, vice president of Breitling, which introduced its first in-house chronograph movement, the Caliber B01, in 2009.

This year, Breitling added the Transocean Chronograph Unitime, a world timer incorporating the new Breitling Caliber B05, to its repertoire.

Breitling and several other watchmakers have been working for years on becoming more self-sufficient and actually creating or purchasing their own facilities to manufacture the hundreds of thousands of tiny watch parts that go into watches every single year.

Moving forward from this point will get very interesting. Many name brands that don’t have the resources to create their movements in-house have moved their operations to parts made by Swatch competitor, Sellita. Others like Breitling Watches have been working hard to create their own movements and this dedication shows with the Unitme watch.

These are exciting times indeed! Stay tuned to see which watch makers fold under the pressure and which one rise to the top with some truly amazing luxury watches.

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