I found this interesting article on the Tissot Astrolon -
I know that its introduction roughly coincided with the emergence of the quartz movement. But it makes me wonder why something like this was never attempted (or marketed aggressively, anyways) when the Swiss watch industry was back on its feet?
Is it that the mechanical watch now is more of a luxury than it was without the presence of quartz, or is it that the big groups want to keep the prices high enough so that the "prestige" associated with Swiss brands wouldn't be diluted? I don't think the stigma that used to be associated with the word "plastic", "synthetic" or "polymer" in the preceding decades exists anymore. It looks like the introduction of mostly plastic parts would give a lubricant free mechanism, and from all accounts there are plenty of Tissot Astrolons ticking away merrily with little to no maintenance being done on those watches. The timing results from a few accounts I've read haven't been too shabby, either.