TIMEKEEPING: Turning Back The Clock

Turning Back The Clock

Once upon a time, high-quality watches ticked, had mechanical movements (hand- wound or self-winding) and almost always came from Switzerland. But that was before the onslaught of Japanese quartz watches dealt a near deathblow to the Swiss industry. Now Swiss watchmakers, who survived by converting to quartz technology, plan to turn back the clock.

The timely move is being led by Societe Suisse de Microelectronique et d'Horlogerie, originator of the popular quartz Swatch Watch. The company has - produced six prototypes of a mechanical, self-winding version of the Swatch, which will probably go on sale next year for about $40. Though...

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