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Pandemics and horology

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March 2020


Pandemics and horology

In 1918, at the end of World War One, the Spanish flu pandemic strikes. It will go on to cause 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. To save Swiss watchmaking, it must go upmarket, asserted the Journal Suisse d’Horlogerie at the time. But what about today? Should it do just the opposite: go downmarket instead?

1918: SPANISH FLU

“The most obvious effect of the current crisis is that the sale of quality and luxury watches has become extremely difficult. Our watchmaking trade today consists largely in selling cheap watches. The result has been a damaging fall in the average value of watches, while the price of the raw materials has risen in unprecedented fashion.”


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