The Swatch Group owns some of the most iconic brands in the industry, including Omega. But it also currently supplies 60 percent of the movements used by the rest of the Swiss watchmaking industry. That's about to change.
Switzerland's competition authority has granted Swatch's request to stop selling movements to competitors. The move will be phased in and by 2020, Swatch will have no obligation to sell movements at all. The agreement reverses an early ruling in July.
This has led to anxiety in some quarters of the industry and a boon for independent movement makers who are fast getting swallowed up at a pretty penny. Hermes, Richemont, LVMH, Gucci, and Ulysse Nardin have all made related acquisitions in recent months. As much as $1 billion has been spent on movement makers since Swatch first announced its plans in 2011.