Swiss industry accused of investing more in marketing than watchmaking

felix-baumgartner-urwerk

Business leaders in Switzerland are becoming increasingly concerned that traditional watchmaking skills are disappearing as the industry becomes more focused on marketing than manufacturing.

Felix Baumgartner (pictured), co-founder and master watchmaker at Urwerk, told an audience at last week’s SalonQP that the art of watchmaking was being lost as watch brands increasingly “pump marketing money into cases”.

Mr Baumgartner was part of a round table discussion about the future of watchmaking that also included his business partner Martin Frei, Stephen Forsey, co-founder of Greubel Forsey, and independent British watchmaker Roger W Smith.

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They used SalonQP to draw attention to Time Aeon, an organisation whose stated aim is to: “perpetuate exemplary standards of expertise and knowledge of the art of contemporary watchmaking among independent craftsmen, to actively participate in safeguarding the heritage of watchmaking worldwide, to make a financial contribution to the training of future watchmakers who wish to become independent, to help talented young watchmakers become independent, to support the art of contemporary watchmaking and have it recognised as a completely separate art.”

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