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Tag Heuer to use Seiko Parts

Swatch discontinues providing Swiss watchmakers with parts

Tag Heuer 1887 Watch

For decades, Swatch has been the main supplier of movements, dials, and cases for the watch industry in Swizerland. Recently, they have cut this supply line to many Swiss companies in an effort to concentrate more heavily on their own product lines. This has forced many Swiss watchmakers to either invest in their own parts manufacturing facilities or search elsewhere for parts suppliers.

Tag Heuer is the first company to announce they will be using parts from a non-Swiss company:

“This seems like a good thing. Given the need for an alternative supplier, of course competitors will highlight that Seiko is Japanese even if the parts and movements are made in Switzerland,” Kepler analyst Jon Cox said.

But Cox said the reduction in supply would benefit Swatch’s margin as it will be able to charge what it likes for its components, while rivals are forced to invest in production.

The Swiss parliament is currently debating whether to tighten rules on what constitutes a “Swiss made” product, in a bid to stop competitors knocking off poorer imitations which dent the country’s reputation for quality.

In the end, Swiss watch companies have to move fast to keep their production lines working and Tag Heuer has been completely honest in their practices and the Tag Heuer Calibre 1887 will be the first production line to feature a Japanese movement.

This has spawned a movement by the Swiss parliment requiring at least 60% of the the parts in any “Swiss Made” watch be produced in Swizerland (Up from 50%) in an effort to ensure the quality standards of the “Swiss Made” label.

Time will tell how this affects the reputation of Tag Heuer watches…

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