If you have watched just concluded 2012 London Olympics you may have noticed that Omega was the official time keeper of the games. Omega is part of a company called Swatch Group of Switzerland. Other brands of Swatch Group beside Omega include Breguet, Blancpain, Léon Hatot, Glasshütte Original, Longines, Rado, Union Glasshütte, Tissot, Calvin Klein Watches + Jewelry, Balmain, Certina, Mido, Hamilton, Swatch, Flik Flak, Endura, Tourbillon and Jaquet Droz. The story of Swatch, the world’s biggest watch maker by volume is also interesting as its time pieces.
Thirty years ago, pricy Swiss watch makers were under pressure from much cheaper products like Seiko, Casio, and Citizen from Japan. The owner of the Omega brand brought in Nicolas Hayek, a management consultant to develop a sales strategy for the company and the answer to the Japanese challenge was the introduction of Swatch, less than $100 watch in 1982. Today Hayek family controls about 48 percent of the company and Nick Hayek is CEO and Nayla Hayek is the Chairman of the company.
Swatch carries a wide variety of watches from $100 to $300,000 Breguet and Blancpain. Fifty percent of its sales come from Asia mainly from China. The Americas account for one third of its sales.