Swatch Group, the maker of popular Swatch watches and luxury brands, such as Omega and Longines, saw net profit decline 17.4 percent, according to various reports in the business press this week. Swatch says the global economic downturn and volatile currencies ate into demand for watches.
MF Global Securities analyst John Guy told Bloomberg that Swiss exports may fall more than 15 percent this year, which may lead to some watchmakers going belly-up and widespread job cuts. If that kind of decline is real, it would be the worst market for Swiss watches since the 1970s "quartz crisis." rel="lightbox1046"\