Switzerland, a small country sandwiched between the old Western powers Germany, France, and Italy, has a land area of only 41285 square kilometers, nearly three times that of Beijing, and has a total population of more than 8.1 million, but less than Half of Beijing’s resident population has a desirable natural environment. It is home to the world’s most influential multinational company, provides the most secure financial services, and produces the highest quality clocks and watches. As one of the most important pillar industries in Switzerland, watchmaking is a famous business card in Switzerland. Every year, several watchmaking institutes, including some science and engineering colleges, continuously send talents to watchmaking companies. And creative mechanical timepieces.
After hundreds of years of development, mechanical watchmaking has long been a part of Swiss cultural heritage, and it has become the dream of many young people. Watchmaking workshops, factories, group companies, and many watchmakers in Switzerland, which form a powerful cornerstone of the watch industry, are the driving force behind the development of the watch industry.
Changes in the number of employees and companies in the past few decades
For a long time, we did not know what the specific situation of the Swiss watchmaking industry used to be. People always split each angle and found out from some details: the Swiss watch industry developed rapidly and the scale changed after World War II Large, the brands collaborated on the development of complex functions and movements, quartz shock almost destroyed the mechanical watch industry and so on. However, this information is relatively general and vague. Here we give a chart, which is the statistics released by the Swiss official agency. This agency consists of several members. These members are group associations and unions of various cantons and groups, so it is worth referring.
Changes in the number of employees and companies in watchmaking from 1949 to 2014
In this chart, we are surprised to find that in the middle of the last century, there were close to 2,400 Swiss watch companies and about 90,000 employees. In the decades before the quartz shock in the early 1970s, the number of watch companies remained the same. With a scale of more than 1,500 companies, the number of employees has never been less than 60,000. You know, the total population of Switzerland at that time was only about 5 million, and the labor force was about 3 million (the current total population of Switzerland is about 8.1 million, the labor force is about 5 million, and the watch industry is close to 60,000). This is enough to show how prosperous the Swiss watch industry was then, even now it cannot be compared. The data also shows that there were many small and medium-sized watch companies at that time, because the average watch company employed only about 40 people. Today, the average watch company employs nearly 100 people, including administrative and leadership personnel.
Today, the watch and clock industry has a huge GDP, and its total exports exceed 20 billion Swiss francs each year. However, the scale of the industry has not yet returned to the past prosperity. The company that collapsed in that shock no longer exists today, even in the rapid years before. The new watch company has not sprung up like a mushroom, indicating that the watch industry has undergone a qualitative change after the painful transformation. From 1985 to today, in the past 30 years of development, the number of watch companies has not increased significantly, even in an ups and downs. The number of employees has doubled from more than 30,000 to nearly 60,000, indicating that the watch industry has continued to recover. Watch companies are getting bigger and stronger. The small and beautiful watchmaking industry used to form a diversified industry, but now it has been transformed into a group of common collaborations, which has created an industry pattern in which brand differentiation and commonality coexist.
Individual and small and medium-sized watchmaking enterprises
Number of employees and structure distribution from 1980 to 2014
However, there is a sad thing. We see that the watch industry today is not as full of flowers and contentions as before. Everyone’s attention has been focused on several new product exhibitions each year. The protagonists here are big groups and big brands. . However, whether the market can last alive and maintain breakthrough innovation, it is not the big groups that play a key role, but small and medium watchmaking companies and even individuals who make watches because of their hobby. They are the main force of market innovation. Regrettably, there were about 2,800 employees in the personal workshop category in 1980. By 2014, there were only about 220 people left, and they continued to decline.
Distribution of companies by number of employees
According to statistics, by 2014, among all watch companies in Switzerland, companies with less than 4 employees accounted for the vast majority, and companies with 10-24 and 25-49 employees showed that the Swiss watchmaking industry must Most of them are small and medium-sized enterprises, which include some subsidiary accessories manufacturers or parts suppliers under the group or big brands. There are only 19 large companies with more than 500 people, mainly some very mature brand companies. However, in terms of labor force ratio, the total number of employees in large brand companies exceeds 30% of the total number of employees, which is an absolute number advantage.
That is to say, most of the practitioners are concentrated in large watchmaking companies, and very few people make their own watches at home or go to small watchmaking companies (mostly in partnership with friends), and this Some people do not work for the sake of survival. A more reasonable explanation is for hobbies. For example, Dufour can often create more pleasing high-quality clocks. We believe that a little more of these people are the manifestation of market prosperity and maintaining lasting vitality. Grouping has allowed many brands to be preserved. AHCI is supporting the development space of individuals or small teams. In recent years, major groups have also tried to integrate these personal watchmakers and brands. Individual entrepreneurs of the Swiss watchmaking industry are expected to win. Vast market.