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History of the Swiss Watch Industry

From Jacques David to Nicolas Hayek- Third edition

Pierre-Yves Donzé

This book tackles the history of the Swiss watch industry in a global perspective: it gives particular attention to rival nations such as the United Kingdom, the USA and Japan. The author demonstrates how Swiss watchmakers succeeded in facing various challenges: the industrialization of production at the end of the 19 th century, the delocalization of production in the interwar years and globalization since the 1960’s. These challenges helped Switzerland to maintain and strengthen its position as a leader on the world market. This study shows how innovation and new technologies, the industrial policy of the Swiss authorities, the industrial district organization and the relations with trade unions explain the worldwide success of the Swiss watch industry.
Pierre-Yves Donzé was born in Switzerland and studied history at the University of Neuchâtel, where he obtained his PhD in 2005. After stints as a visiting researcher in Japan and in the United States, he is now a guest research associate at Kyoto University and teaches at Kansai University, Osaka. He has published extensively on the watch industry and was awarded the prestigious Gaïa Prize in 2011.