Technical Cooperation Is A Win-win Deal

This year’s Basel Watch Fair, I think many people must be very impressed with one thing, that is, Breitling and Tudor exchange the movement, why do you pay attention to this matter, and even feel that Somewhat incredible? Because in the past few years, brands have either been busy producing their own movements or being busy with the market. It has been a long time since the two major companies exchanged their main movements, not to mention Breitling has been reported by foreign media not long ago. It may be sold. At this time, many people are wondering if Rolex is going to take over Breitling. Of course, this is finally a rumor, but it also reminds me of one thing. It seems that it has not been a long time for such a large-scale technology sharing in the watchmaking industry. In recent years, due to market reasons, more and more brands It tends to produce its own movement and apply for its own patent, or emphasizes exclusiveness, so as to establish a brand image.

Tudor MT5813 automatic chronograph movement (from Breitling B01)

   Although in common terms, Breitling and Tudor exchange the movement, but from an official point of view, it is a cooperative development, because it is not directly interchangeable, and each has actually made a lot of changes. This is very interesting. In the last century, it was quite normal for major brands to develop cooperatively. As a result, many products that are still famous today are born, such as a thickness of only 50 in the 1950s. 1.64mm ultra-thin manual movement, developed by Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin. Another example is Caliber 11, the first self-winding chronograph movement developed jointly by Breitling, Hamilton, Buren, and TAG Heuer in the 1960s. In addition, there are many examples, some of which are inconvenient because they are still in use today.

Jaeger-LeCoultre manual ultra-thin movement 803 (only 1.64 mm thick)

   After the watchmaking industry has been grouped and integrated, technical cooperation within the group has occurred from time to time. Let me give a few examples. In 2013, Tissot and ETA co-developed the Group’s most important basic movement, the Powermatic 80. At that time, long power became a hot topic of basic functions of mechanical watchmaking. In the past, the main movements of ETA’s main movements were stored in 42 hours or 48 hours, and the Powermatic 80 movement can have 80 hours of power, which greatly improves daily practicality. At the time, this movement was used in Tissot’s luxury watch luxury series. At first the market was full of doubts about this movement, but today this movement has become the standard for many brands under the Swatch Group. One year after the launch of Tissot, according to different brand positioning and different movement levels, it was allocated to brands such as Mido, Hamilton and Certina, and a certain gradient in price was formed.

Tissot 80 movement

   Not only that, in 2016, ETA also provided a higher version of the 80 movement. The 80 movement using the silicon balance spring was first installed in the two brands of Mido and Tissot and vigorously promoted, as in the 80 The strong momentum of the movement in Tissot, we have reasons to believe that with the maturity of the process, the silicon hairspring will also become the standard of the Swatch Group’s main movement like the 80 movement in the near future, but at present In other words, it is only used in relatively high-end products.

Mido Caliber 80 silicon balance spring

   Speaking of silicon hairsprings, the Swatch Group has been using silicon hairsprings for a long time. Breguet, Blancpain, Jacques Droe and other high-end brands are using them. Movements are using silicon hairsprings. With the downsizing of silicon springs last year, and the use of single crystal silicon springs in Longines’ Record series this year, we believe that this is an extension of the Swatch Group’s vertical technology, from top brands to ordinary brands, from high-tech silicon to ordinary silicon Materials, silicon hairsprings are distributed among the various brands of the group according to their own grades, thereby completing a large-scale technological upgrade.

Omega Nivachoc suspension

   Another detail is that the main coaxial movements of Omega use Nivachoc shock absorbers. This shock absorber was also considered to be exclusive to Omega at that time. Although Omega did not explicitly emphasize this shock absorber, it did To a degree, it distinguishes Omega from the main movement and other movements. Longines launched the Record series this year. It was surprising to see that this watch also used Nivachoc suspension, and it was verified that the movement had been used in Longines before, even on Hamilton. Also used before. The downward extension of this new technology enables the people-friendly and mid-end brands under the Swatch Group to have higher cost performance and technological content.

Four-digit year used by Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC to display the perpetual calendar

   In addition to a large number of technology sharing within the Swatch Group, the technology sharing of internal watch factories such as Richemont Group, Rovixuan Group, and Kering Group also exists, such as the Jaeger-LeCoultre 8.86 million calendar module and IWC 51613 movement Perpetual calendar module, the tourbillon of some brands of Richemont is designed by Cartier’s tourbillon designer Kasapi.
   To a certain extent, technical cooperation can allow the market to enjoy benefits, thereby cultivating the market size. Brands can get funding and improve quality at the same time, which is obviously a wishful sale.