Swatch fire strikes at heart of production

Last updated 09:46 30/12/2013

Relevant offers

World

Rolling Stone editor quits as students sue Jack Dorsey's harsh criticism of Twitter's previous policies not enough to turn company around Facebook profit slides 9 per cent, heavy spending on investments US Fed leaves door open for rate hike in September VW beats Toyota as world's biggest automaker Trade ministers cautiously hopeful about Trans-Pacific Partnership deal China's stock slump hits world markets John Key says NZ's drug bill set to rise under TPP, but patients protected Mitsubishi production hubs will be Japan, SE Asia, Russia Greek PM Alexis Tsipras under pressure over drachma plans

A fire has destroyed one workshop and damaged another at Swatch Group's watch mechanism subsidiary, the Swiss firm that has a near monopoly on the supply of mechanisms to other watchmakers said.

Swatch chief executive Nick Hayek told Swiss radio on Sunday that the blaze had struck at the "heart of production" at ETA Manufacture Horlogere and the impact on output would be examined more closely on Monday.

"Everything is devastated," Hayek said.

Hayek said the Swiss watchmaker, known for its colourful plastic timepieces and high-end Omega brand, had other factories it could fall back on.

ETA is the world's biggest supplier of watch "movements", the internal mechanisms that drive the moving parts of a watch, and Swatch counts high-profile luxury groups Richemont, LVMH and Hermes among its customers.

Swatch was given the go-ahead in October to gradually reduce component deliveries to rivals, a move which could cause supply shortages for some players in the industry.

Flames ravaged the galvanic workshop of ETA in Grenchen, Switzerland, where watch parts are protected against rust, while another workshop had been damaged by smoke, Swatch said.

Local police said the damage from the fire could cost several hundred thousands Swiss francs.

Swatch said no-one was harmed in the fire and the cause was unknown.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content