Posts tagged “swiss”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] A Quandary for Swatch – It’s Too Popular [] – [They are also looking to stop being the parts supplier to all of their rivals] Swatch, the world’s largest watchmaker, is rushing to add factory capacity so that it can make enough watches to meet demand. It wants to add as many as 2,000 employees this year ­ about 1,500 of them at home in Switzerland. But it is struggling to find enough qualified people. “Managing our stock is at the moment not an issue for us because demand is so big that we unfortunately don’t even have the time to build up any stock”… Swatch’s production and hiring problems reflect the overall health of a sector that has rebounded from the world financial crisis. Demand for watches has soared in Asia ­ a region that accounted for more than half of Swiss watch exports last year ­ with makers of mechanical watches capturing an increasingly large slice of the market. Exports of mechanical timepieces rose 32 percent in unit terms last year, compared with an 18 percent increase for less expensive quartz watches.
  • [from steve_portigal] Remembering the XFL, a 1-and-done league in 2001 [SFGate] – [Lessons from a failed attempt to innovate against an established competitor] While some ideas (trash-talking announcers, no penalties for roughness) didn't work, McMahon was a visionary in how he let fans inside the game. Players and coaches were miked up during games, and cameras were allowed into the locker room and behind the scenes. The XFL used the Skycam, the camera held up by wires over the field, and the NFL adopted that almost immediately. McMahon also did away with extra-point kicks, fair catches and coin tosses. At the start of the game, a player from each team would line up at the 30-yard-line and race to the ball at the 50 and fight for it in a "scramble." However, a member of the Orlando Rage separated his shoulder in a scramble the first week…In the end the XFL was caught in the middle. The football product on the field wasn't good enough to lure NFL fans, and there wasn't enough of the "personality-driven stories or crazy characters" to attract wrestling fans.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from Dan_Soltzberg] Swedish Artist Michael Johansson’s Shipping Container Art [Inhabitat] – [What makes this 3D collage so appealing: is it the scale? The playfulness? The clever conversation between shapes?] Shipping containers are often repurposed as houses, apartments and studios, but Swedish artist Michael Johansson sees them as building blocks for his sculptures.
  • [from Dan_Soltzberg] Saad Mohseni Is Afghanistan’s First Media Mogul [NPR] – [Afghan Star producer Saad Mohseni is seeding culture change in Afghanistan by broadcasting shows depicting alternate social mores] Through reality TV, dramas, and soap operas, Afghans are able to see things they hadn't been able to watch for years. Women talking to men, for instance.
  • [from Dan_Soltzberg] Tesla Raises Shocking Amount in NASDAQ Debut [Fast Company] – [Tesla takes it public. I have only anecdotal evidence as to the performance of their vehicles – the last time I was on the road next to a Tesla Roadster, it effortlessly smoked my turbo Miata – but Tesla seems like they're doing things right] For all its ambitions to revolutionize the electric car industry, Tesla Motors has only posted a profit once, back in July 2009. It has released just one car (the Roadster), and sells 10 vehicles per week. And yet Tesla's first day of public trading on the stock market has been an indisputable success.
  • [from steve_portigal] Nicolas Hayek, 82, Dies – Introduced Swatch – Obituary (Obit) – – By the 1970s, the vaunted Swiss watch industry was in jeopardy. Japanese watchmakers had begun to undercut Swiss prices. And public tastes were shifting from the finely wrought analog timepieces in which Swiss artisans had long specialized to the pale flickering faces of mass-market digital watches. In the early 1980s, with no apparent remedy in sight, a group of Swiss banks asked Mr. Hayek to compile a report on how the watchmaking industry might best be liquidated. Instead, he merged two of its former titans, Asuag and SSIH, which between them owned brands like Omega, Longines and Tissot. Mr. Hayek bought a majority stake in the reorganized group, known as SMH. In 1983, SMH introduced the Swatch. Lightweight, with vibrantly colored bands and breezy novelty faces, it was remarkably inexpensive to produce. (with 51 parts, as opposed to the nearly 100 needed to make a traditional wristwatch.) It retailed for less than $35 when it was first marketed in the United States later that year.


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