EU Takes Close Look At Watchmaking

I have written several blogs this summer about Swatch Group and CEO Nicolas Hayek’s intentions to slow down the supply of movement parts to independent brands and watchmakers.  Hayek believes that watchmaking is being somewhat taken for granted and wants to make sure the art is never underappreciated.

The European Union antitrust regulators are now investigating whether their refusal to supply watchmakers with parts is a breach of EU competition rules.  Swatch Group has what some consider a monopoly on movement components and their refusal to sell them to other manufacturers could put a lot of companies out of business.  There are no alternatives for most brands, as developing movements entirely in-house requires an insane amount of time and money.  It should be interesting to see how the investigation unfolds.

On a completely different note, Tag Heuer has official ended ties with Tiger Woods after sponsoring the professional golfer for a full decade.  Audemars Piguet certainly has no intentions of leaving the golf scene, however, as it seems every stud golfer is rocking an AP patch on his sleeve while competing.  I am sure you will see what I am talking about if you catch any of the PGA Championship this weekend.

Linking back to my blog post from earlier this week on tech watches, there are some awesome golf watches out there.  For instance, the Garmin Approach S1 golf watch uses GPS technology and a large database of over 17,000 courses in the US and Canada to help provide distances to the front, back and middle of the greens for golf addicts.  I recently saw one in action, and it was incredibly accurate.  Pretty awesome if you ask me!