In the mid-seventies, the Swiss watch industry was in the midst of its worst crisis ever.
Technologically speaking, the Japanese competition had been outclassed in 1979 with the launch of the “Delirium,” the world´s thinnest wristwatch with a limited number of components.
But the event that marked the upturn in the industry´s fortunes was the founding of SMH, the Swiss Corporation for Microelectronics and Watchmaking Industries. And its answer to the crisis was Swatch-a slim plastic watch with only 51 components (instead of the usual 91 parts or more) that combined top quality with a highly affordable price.
It first went on sale in 1983. Since this time, it has gone on to become the most successful wristwatch of all time, and The Swatch Group, the parent company, is the largest and most dynamic watch company in the world.