Frederique Constant's response when Swatch will reduce movements' supply
Like Tree8Likes

Thread: Frederique Constant's response when Swatch will reduce movements' supply

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Administrator Ernie Romers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    20,666

    Picture Frederique Constant's response when Swatch will reduce movements' supply

    For about 20-30 years, Swatch has been the supplier of mechanical movements and their components for most of the Swiss watch industry. Despite its historical relationship, Swatch would like to reduce deliveries of calibers and assortments.


    In the Western World, when a monopolistic stakeholder decides to cut supply, antitrust authorities protect smaller players, giving them time to organize themselves. However, in this case, the Comco (the Swiss antitrust governing authority) immediately awarded the Swatch Group an ability to reduce deliveries up to 30%. “The decision of the Comco came as a bombshell in the Swiss watchmaking industry” says Peter Stas, co-founder and CEO of Frederique Constant.


    Supply will stop
    So, do independent watchmakers have to give-up? “Certainly, a number of smaller manufacturers will be forced out of business.”, said Peter Stas. Fortunately, Frederique Constant is large enough to develop its own watch calibers. Moreover, Frederique Constant started its first caliber development already back in 2001. Still, despite this early start, the company considers it needs another 5 years before it can produce the critical assortment, the watch oscillating system.


    History Frederique Constant
    Founded in 1988 by Aletta and Peter Stas and driven by passion, Frederique Constant has grown into one of the larger Swiss watch manufacturers. In 2011, production reaches over 120'000 watches, sold in over 2'700 points of sale in 100+ countries around the globe. Frederique Constant positions itself in the Accessible Luxury segment, with most of its watches selling at CHF 1'000-5'000 retail. The company is expected to continue its annual 25% growth, doubling in size every three years.

    Frederique Constant Manufacture Calibers

    Name:  pic2.jpg
Views: 1297
Size:  86.9 KB
    FC-910MC4H6
    Name:  pic3.jpg
Views: 1285
Size:  77.0 KB
    Cal FC-910
    In 2001, Frederique Constant began the development of its first manufacture caliber in co-operation with the École d'Horlogerie de Genève, École d'Ingenieurs de Genève and the Horloge Vakschool Zadkine. The Heart Beat Manufacture has the characteristic bridge for the balance wheel on the front side of the caliber. Having the bridge for the balance wheel on the front side of the caliber made it possible to have the spiral and fine regulation on the front side as well, creating a much more appealing Heart Beat design. This construction was new - allowing Frederique Constant to obtain a patent.
    Frederique Constant Manufacture Calibers - Continued
    Name:  pic4.jpg
Views: 1310
Size:  85.2 KB
    FC-980EGF4H9
    Name:  pic5.jpg
Views: 3173
Size:  75.1 KB
    Cal FC-980
    In 2008, Frederique Constant introduced its first Tourbillon Manufacture movement with Silicium (Silicon) Escapement Wheel. There are three main advantages compared to a regular escapement wheel:
    • No oiling necessary
    • Surface ultra smooth
    • Weight 1/5 of steel
    As a result, the Frederique Constant Tourbillon has an amplitude of over 300 degrees in dial-up and dial-down positions. Even in the crown-down position, the amplitude is over 275 degrees, which is substantially better than the performance of other high-end tourbillons.
    Name:  pic6.jpg
Views: 1288
Size:  58.8 KB
    FC-700MS5M6
    Name:  pic7.jpg
Views: 1302
Size:  69.5 KB
    Cal FC-700
    In 2009, Frederique Constant launched its second base manufacture caliber. Component rationalization and assembly efficiency were the top priorities for the development of this caliber. Result was an overall 35% cost saving compared with the earlier Heart Beat Manufacture caliber. Various new technologies were incorporated. For the first time,
    a Swiss watch manufacturer introduced a watch with a manufacture caliber below Euro 2000 retail.
    Frederique Constant Factory
    The Frederique Constant production facility in Geneva measures 3'200 square meters, divided over four floors, offering an attractive working environment in the sectors of caliber component production, calibre assembly, watch assembly, and extensive quality control. Numerically controlled machines of the latest generation are located in a large atelier in the basement, where all component manufacturing is concentrated. Caliber and watch assembly, as well as state-of-the-art quality control is primarily organized on the first floor of the Frederique Constant building. The building also serves as the brand's international headquarters.


    It’s about timing
    Frederique Constant is aiming to have two suppliers for all its components by 2015, thereby assuring its full independence. All key components are in development, including a new watch oscillating system. The company plans to continue close collaboration with its specialist component suppliers.


    Communication Swatch
    “In no other industry do you have one company supply all critical parts to the people who then compete directly with it”, Nick Hayek, Swatch’s chief executive said in an interview last March. Apart that such internal component deliveries are common practice in the car industry, the watch industry has always been a horizontally organized industry. Also the Swatch Group purchases many parts, caliber anti-shock systems, rubies in calibers, dials, cases, etc from specialized manufacturers. Many factories that produce these components are shared by multiple brands, including Frederique Constant and Swatch Group brands. The horizontal organization of the Swiss watch industry has been one of the key drivers for the comeback after the nearly fatal Quartz Crisis in the 1970-1980’s.


    Awaiting Court Decision
    While some independent brands are accelerating development and production plans, the short-term future is in the hands of the court (Tribunal Administratif). Indeed, nine companies are challenging the approval by the Comco to allow Swatch to reduce supply. The decision of the court is expected by end of December 2011.


    Peter Stas
    Co-Founder and CEO
    Frederique Constant SA
    Geneva, December 2011

    Related link: www.frederique-constant.com
    Best regards,

    Ernie Romers
    Founder and former site owner, Watchuseek.com

  2. #2
    Member CitizenM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Fort Worth, Waco & Norman
    Posts
    10,228

    Re: Frederique Constant's response when Swatch will reduce movements' supply

    That's the spirit. Their destiny is in their hands. Maybe I'll buy my girlfriend a Double Heartbeat for Christmas now.

  3. #3
    Member Duder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    800

    Re: Frederique Constant's response when Swatch will reduce movements' supply

    This sounds like their autos will be going for the 2k+ range

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    v76
    v76 is offline
    Member v76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    MO, USA
    Posts
    7,751

    Re: Frederique Constant's response when Swatch will reduce movements' supply

    I've had my eye on the Maxime Manufacture (sublime quality and that dial is stunning!), but too many other watches jostling for my time now

    Well, I hope FC is able to get in-house movements for most of their watches* in a few years time. I agree with Duder, this will drive their prices up by quite a bit.

    *They'll probably stick to Sellita for the base models.
    Last edited by v76; December 14th, 2011 at 23:22.
    CitizenM likes this.
    Collection:
    A few of this and some of the other ...


    "I worked my way up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty" - Groucho Marx

  6. #5
    Member hpark21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Born in South Korea - Canadian citizen - Living in Philly Suburb
    Posts
    5,494

    Re: Frederique Constant's response when Swatch will reduce movements' supply

    I don't get it.

    Why have fine regulation in the dial side? That means, the whole movement has to be popped out just to be able to regulate.

    Does not sound like a good design to me.
    Chronic flipper...


  7. #6
    Member CitizenM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Fort Worth, Waco & Norman
    Posts
    10,228

    Re: Frederique Constant's response when Swatch will reduce movements' supply

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding here, but if that is the case, can you not do it just by removing the crystal?

    Love the Heartbeat manufacture designs too.

  8. #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,888

    Re: Frederique Constant's response when Swatch will reduce movements' supply

    What I want to know is what percentage of annual profit for The Swatch Group comes from sales of the actual Swatch watches you see in malls etc.

  9. #8
    Member hpark21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Born in South Korea - Canadian citizen - Living in Philly Suburb
    Posts
    5,494
    From what I have seen, usually crystal is removed by tapping the crystal from inside which means the movement and dial has to be removed to take the crystal out anyways.

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk
    CitizenM likes this.
    Chronic flipper...


  10. #9
    Member devilmoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    889
    Very interesting to learn a little bit about the watch industry, and how companies are responding to these developments.

  11. #10
    Member CitizenM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Fort Worth, Waco & Norman
    Posts
    10,228

    Re: Frederique Constant's response when Swatch will reduce movements' supply

    The Swiss watch industry has been on the rise for quite awhile. Even the Swatch brands have been progressing, like Omega, and even Longines has some "unique" calibres now.

    Actually, my girlfriend told me Longines was low end today and criticized their movement sourcing. She doesn't know anything about watches. She wears a $10 Hello Kitty quartz I bought her. How did she "know" that? How has she even heard of Longines? I hadn't heard of Longines before I was a WIS. It's weird.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Tags for this Thread

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •