Monday, June 28, 2010

Nicolas G. Hayek: 1928 - 2010

The Swatch Group announced today via press release that their co-founder and and Chairman; Nicolas G. Hayek unexpectedly passed away due to heart failure while at work today, June 28th in Biel, Switzerland.
Nicolas Hayek is often credited with single handily saving the Swiss watch industry after the quartz crisis in the late 70's and early 80's. As Chairman of the Swatch Group, which is the home of many well known moderate to high end brands, the decisions he made shaped the way the industry moved and kept it from nearly disappearing all together. Unfortunately with some decisions came controversy which had The Swatch Group investigated on more than one occasion for antitrust violations. His legacy will most certainly focus on this drive to keep the Swiss watch industry moving forward and the tactics he used to do so. Most recently Hayek announced that ETA, the largest watch movement manufacturer in Switzerland, and the one widely used in most Swiss Made pieces, was to stop selling blank [ebauche] movements to companies outside of The Swatch Group. At first this announcement was met with deep concern about the future of the industry, but Hayek stated he was doing so because the Swiss watch industry was lacking innovation. As of now the result of this decision has brought about many high end brands developing their own in-house movements.

Though most of his career focused on the Swiss watch industry Mr. Hayek was also instrumental in the development of the Smart Car in conjunction with Mercedes Benz.

It looks as though the announcement was made after the close of the Swiss market with their shares closing up 2.55% at CHF 325.40. He was considered one of Switzerland's most influential captains of industry so if there is any shareholder reaction to his passing it will be evident in early trading tomorrow.
Currently his son, Nick Hayek Jr. is the CEO of The Swatch Group.

Update: Today, June 30th, it was decided that Ms. Nayla Hayek [pictured below] will now serve as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Swatch Group. Ms. Hayek previously served as Vice President. It can probably be presumed that she will continue the traditions that her father initially started during his tenure.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

...Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

Well, hello there! After what was admittedly a much longer than expected hiatus I am very pleased to announce the [triumphant?] return of The Escapement Watch Blog to these here inter-webs!! The only real change that has occurred is that my home base is now in Seattle, Washington [for those not keeping track, I was previously in Boston, Massachusetts]. I am starting to discover that Seattle is quite the watch community, so in those regards I am extremely pleased with our decision to move to the left coast.

Essentially what happened was a big move across the country [in a U-Haul] for my wife and I, followed immediately by me joining a friend's band on a 30 city United States tour as a member of his road crew. I was going to attempt to write along the way, but honestly the hours were so wacky, and the tour was scheduled so tightly that any free time I had, I tended to sleep.

To those who are still paying attention; I want to extend a heartfelt thank you, and to those who happened to start following me on Facebook and Twitter whilst I was away...I want to sincerely apologize for what must have seemed like the most boring watch blog out there.

I am expecting to write at about the same pace as I had in the past. I have not given up, nor have I forgotten about my little corner of the web.

I very much appreciate your patience, and understanding. I look forward to serving you, the reader, to the best of my ability once again.