Book Review: When corporatism leads to Corporate governance failure – The case of the Swiss watch industry by Isabelle Schluep Campo & Philipp Aerni

An interesting read for all who follow the Swatch Group’s undertakings, especially in the light of the spare parts situation

Schluep Campo and Aerni start their book with the merger of the Swiss ASUAG (Allgemeine Schweizerische Uhrenindustrie Aktiengesellschaft / General Swiss Watch Corporation) and the SSIH (Société suisse pour l’industrie horlogère / Swiss Watch Industry Corporation) in 1983. I always assumed that Nicolas Hayek was the “saviour” of the Swiss Watch Industry, developing the Swatch, and saving the industry from certain death single-handedly. Continue reading

WatchParts.org.uk is live!

Dear Readers,

If you have read my last post, you know that I’m working on a watch parts database. After some slightly sleep-deprived nights, the first version is live for testing. Don’t be surprised if the site goes up and down a bit, but I guarantee that all data you enter will be safe, and is backed up nightly. So nothing you enter will get lost.

Give it a go at watchparts.org.uk!

If you have any stock of spare parts, please register, and upload your stock. You can do that with a CSV file, or enter line by line. If a manufacturer is missing, let me know, and I will add it for you. It’s beta testing time…

In the next week, I will develop a search functionality (at the moment, you get to see a list of all parts available on the database, which is fine for a couple of thousand), and add other bits and bobs. If you have Ronda staffs, enter them as manufacturer Ronda, and the Ronda staff number as the manufacturer part number, and voila, they will end up in a list of all Ronda staffs with dimensions and compatible movements. Winding stems to follow…

Enjoy,

Christian

Spare Parts

Everyone working with watches knows the problem: spare parts. Especially for older watches, it can be really hard to find the right part. Never mind the right price.

I know that every watchmaker in the world sits on a huge amount of parts. A lot of these never get used, people don’t even know what they have (I am a bit guilty here as well), and when they give up working, the parts often end up on the tip, never to be seen again.

Some people are out there collecting the parts and selling them on Ebay, and I’m forever indebted to their effort. Continue reading

Service: Vacheron Constantin K1050/8

I do like Vacheron Constantin movements – they are very well made, and very intricate. What puts me off is that I can’t get any spare parts whatsoever. I can buy brake parts for an Aston Martin that speeds along at 250 km/h freely, but buying spare parts for VC watches is apparently too dangerous for the public…

So, I have to dive in without any recourse to parts. Continue reading

Fake watches – maybe it’s just the owners?

Got a nice email today:

Just read the rest of you’re bull not working on reps ,got watch maker local who is interested in the movement ,there not all full of crap

No “Hi”, no “Best regards”, just like that. Oh well, some people are strange …

As I reply to every email we get, I write back:

Hi Toni,

I guess you have proven the point – that’s exactly why we don’t do replica watches. It’s the owners, not the watches 😉
Best regards,
Christian
I thought that that answered the query, and sit back to do my work. But no, he comes back again, without a hello, and without a good-bye (this really is the complete email):
What a load of nonsense you really have deep rooted problems its not the watch its a swiss movement I really and my watchsmith can’t understand your problems ,banging on about all the sob story crap ,why not say don’t work on reps no drama . I own gen omega and Rolex but reps are so good why pay three four grand for Pam lumina when for four hundred you would not have a clue ,I certainly don’t agree with criminal activities of trying to sell them ! And you think every rep watch owners the same ~ some very sad people along with great ones that do your job.
I couldn’t have made the point better myself. And that’s why we don’t want to deal with owners of fake watches 😉
Update: Here is the next missive:
So point is lm a bad person is that right , l was pointing out there’s no need for the long winded crap ,and would have liked to know why its about $100~125 in US .
Now I am completely lost…