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Swatch ruling could stop Swiss watches ticking

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 19, 2019 - Duration: 01:04s

Swatch ruling could stop Swiss watches ticking

Famous Swiss watchmakers may not have movements to put in their timepieces after a ruling by the country's competition watchdog.

Julian Satterthwaite reports.

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Swatch ruling could stop Swiss watches ticking

No matter what Swiss watch you wear on your wrist... there's a good chance the movement is made by Swatch.

Group firm ETA supplies the mechanical bits for a host of the industry's big names.

That includes its own brands, like Omega, and third party firms like Breitling and Cartier.

Now some of those watches could stop ticking.

On Thursday (December 19) the Swiss competition watchdog said ETA has to stop supplying movements to other firms from January 1st.

The ban applies until the watchdog reaches a final decision over what to do about the market for movements.

Swatch reacted furiously to the ruling, calling it 'incomprehensible and unacceptable'.

It said the industry could face turmoil as a result, as watchmakers usually order parts a year in advance.

Swatch says the decision favours rival movement maker Sellita, and it may seek damages from the regulator.

Shares in Swatch Group fell as much as 2% in early trade Thursday.

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