The Swatch Group employs about 36,000 people in 50 countries. In 2016, net sales were 7.533 billion Swiss francs (CHF), decreasing 11% from 2015 results.
The Swatch Group was formed from two financially-troubled predecessor companies, SSIH and ASUAG.
SSIH originated in 1930 with the merger of the Omega and Tissot companies. Swiss watch quality was high, but new technology, such as the Hamilton Electric watch introduced in 1957 and the Bulova Accutron tuning fork watch in 1961, presaged increasing technological competition.
In the late 1970s, SSIH became insolvent due in part to a recession and in part to heavy competition from inexpensive Asian-made quartz crystal watches. These difficulties occurred even though it had become Switzerland’s largest, and the world’s third largest, producer of watches. Its creditor banks assumed control in 1981.
ASUAG, formed in 1931, was the world’s largest producer of watch movements and the parts thereof (balance wheels, balance springs (spiral), assortments, watch stones ("rubis"). ASUAG had also integrated an array of watch brands in 1972 into a sub-holding company, General Watch Co. ASUAG failed similarly in 1982.