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Reference no. 589-005-1
Prize winner
Subject category: Marketing
Published by:
INSEAD (1987)
Revision date:
50 pages
Data source:
Field research
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The case describes the development and international launch of Swatch, the new watch concept that has revolutionised the watch industry and brought Swiss watchmaking out of a forty-year slump. The management of Swatch AG, a subsidiary of SMH, the world's second largest watchmaking manufacturer, is concerned about maintaining sales' growth and agreeing on long-term international strategy. While new competitors inspired by Swatch are mushrooming worldwide, Swatch, mainly through the initiative of its American subsidiary, has expanded into a wide range of accessories and apparel. Swatch top management feels that the time has come to review the very concept of Swatch, the consistency of its international actions, as well as the long-term viability of past or proposed product line extensions. The case contains rich and detailed market research data on the varying needs and reactions of the different international consumer segments. It allows a thorough discussion of fashion-related preferences and behaviour and their implications for product line building and renewal, sales forecasting, production and inventory management, and required changes in corporate culture.


Marketing management; International marketing; Product line; Distribution; Advertising; Consumer behaviour


The events covered by this item took place in 1986.

Geographical setting

Switzerland; United States

Featured company

Company name:
Swatch AG

Featured protagonist

  • Chris Keigel (male), European Marketing Manager

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Awards, prizes & competitions

2006 - ecch best selling case
2000 - ecch best selling case
1991 - ecch European Case Awards - overall winner