This month marks the 30th birthday of the most Swiss watch ever made: the Swatch watch. It may be hard to believe now but the launch of the Swatch was the equivalent of a hail-mary from an industry on its knees, one that had been unable to effectively respond to the quartz and digital revolution led by Japan.
The Swatch was radically different than anything that came before it. It was simple, thin, stylish, and colorful. And it took the world by storm.
Before long, Swatch stores could be found on the best streets in the world, artists clamored to partner with the company, and the emerging action and lifestyle sports, like surfing, snowboarding, and mountain biking, became synonymous with their hip watch sponsor.
This combination of marketing and manufacturing prowess, quarterbacked by the brilliant visionary Nicolas G. Hayek, was the key to restoring Switzerland as the leading player in the world wristwatch market.
So happy birthday Swatch! Here's to many more...