SWITZERLAND: Falling Behind Time

Watchmaking has long been a vocation as innately Swiss as yodeling and cheese making. Last year the country produced 79 million timepieces, nearly 40% of the world total. But that figure is not so pleasing as it might seem; the industry is in a slump that looks more like a depression than a recession. Swiss exports, which take 97% of production, fell 22% last year—40% in the key U.S. market. Red ink has turned up in the accounts of most manufacturers, and more than 16,000 skilled watchmakers, or 21% of the industry's...

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