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  Watch Movements - A quick History


Until the early 1900s pocket watches were the main form of time piece used around the world. It was following this period that wrist watches started to become common. Several developed countries manufactured watch movements with the Swiss, French, English and Americans being major players. Then came the Second World War and most movement makers were forced into manufacturing bomb timers leaving the neutral Swiss to have a virtual monopoly on watch manufacturing. This resulted in the Swiss having around 90% of the worlds watch market up until the early 1970s

in the early 70's the Swiss developed quartz technology for watch movements. Much more accurate and with lower production costs that the traditional mechanical movements. But the Swiss watch industry resisted this new technology and continued the way they had been manufacturing mechanical watches for the past few hundred years.

Not so the rest of the world.

By 1978 quartz watches outsold mechanical watches resulting in a crisis for Swiss manufacturers. Between 1970 to 1985 the Swiss watch industry lost two thirds of its workers and watch brands.

In 1982 the Swiss fought back with the release of the first Swatch quartz movement watches. They took the world by storm with their innovation of design and materials and the Swiss were once again major players in the world watch market.

Today manufacturers such as Incentivate source quartz and automatic movements from two of the worlds biggest makers being Seiko and Citizen Japan. Their movements are compact, efficient and low cost with reliable delivery. The failure rates on these quartz and automatic movements are extremely low resulting in almost zero failure rates to our clients.

We base our movement selection on the functionality required, environment that the watch will be used in and the client budget.

We hope you found this history interesting and look forward to working with you on your next watch project.

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