Interview with Matthias Breschan - President of Hamilton International ¶
It is undeniable that the leader in mechanical watchmaking is Switzerland. Very few other countries - namely Germany and Japan - are even on the map as manufacturers of quality movements. It is therefore the obvious choice for the Swatch Group to set up the Hamilton manufacturing operations in Switzerland. This question did bring to mind a blog entry I posted on the Baily Blog that discusses Canadian watchmaking, where I mention that it would be great to see manufactures establish themselves in Canada.
The greatness that Hamilton watches enjoyed in the fifties and sixties has definitely been captured by the current watches. Mr. Breschan points out how the product lines pay tribute to the brand's rich history with Hollywood and with the Military.
The Swatch Group comes up quite often during the interview. This is not surprising considering that Hamilton is a subsidiary of the Swatch Group. I found it interesting to hear a little bit about the huge impact that this arrangement has and what thinking went behind the development of such a successful collection of watches. As Mr. Breschan hints towards, the price point limits imposed on the American Brand in order to avoid cannibalism between Swatch Group brands had a great deal of influence in defining the distinct character of Hamilton watches.
One of the great things about Hamilton is its history. The company was involved in developing many of the watch world's innovations like the first electrical watch or the first digital display for instance. The watch that Mr. Breschan talks about in this sound bite is the Pulsomatic that commemorates the creation of the Pulsar (world's first digital watch) created forty years ago. The Pulsomatic is the perfect watch to demonstrate how Hamilton sets itself apart from other companies with similar price range.
Hamilton's Khaki Conservation watch was the result of a cooperation between the company, Harrison Ford, and Conservation International. In this segment we are also introduced to the new Khaki Pioneer created in partnership with the actor, and Mr. Breschan shares his impression of Mr. Ford.
Mr. Breschan makes a good point about fashion in general. Its basic goal is to allow individuals to express themselves.
Main image: Matt (left) with Matthias Breschan at the Hamilton booth in Baselworld 2010
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