Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/10/27

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Subject: [Leica] Re: Interview on Zeiss Ikon
From: bdcolen at (B. D. Colen)
Date: Wed Oct 27 08:31:00 2004

The basic point is correct, Simon - The Swiss pissed on the quartz
watches, gave them away to the Japanese, and the Swiss watch industry
headed for extinction.

Yes, many of the old brands are still around - mostly as play toys for
the idle rich. As for the accuracy of chronometers...
...This is something you would know far more about than I, but aren't
the most accurate watches and clocks available those that are directly
linked to the "atomic clock" in Boulder, CO, watches and clocks that can
be had for under $150. Granted, they sure don't look as cool as some
Rolexes etc. But as we've discussed here before, many of us have had
trouble with getting those beauties to keep time.

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2004 11:18 AM
To: Leica Users Group
Subject: Re: [Leica] Re: Interview on Zeiss Ikon

That,s not how it went.
They were not happy merely to produce an accurate quartz watch. They
wanted to make one that would qualify as a chronometre. For a watch to
be certified like that means among other things that the 
drift is known.
So one can use it for navigation by noting the time and applying the
times the interval after the last setting.
That was very hard and indeed the japanese conquered the market witch 
watches that with their random nature of drift were amazingly accurate
time but no chronometers.
They eventually succeeded with watches like the first dual time chrono 
quartz and the constellation series.
One could argue that their aim for excellence was their downfall
somewhat. Still many of the old brands are still around and they make
the most 
desirable watches.Don,t they?
simon jessurun

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "B. D. Colen" <>
To: "'Leica Users Group'" <>
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2004 4:30 PM
Subject: RE: [Leica] Re: Interview on Zeiss Ikon

> Oh, one last thing - The Swiss watch story is one of the greatest 
> examples of all times of an unbelievably stupid marketing decision: 
> for those who may be unaware of it - a Swiss company invented the 
> quartz watch - and the Swiss, distaining the idea of non-traditional 
> watches, sold/gave/licensed? it to the Japanese, resulting in the 
> precipitous decline and near extinction of the Swiss watch industry.
> And in the story of that disaster are far better parallels to Leica's 
> marketing practices and views of itself and the rest of the photo 
> world, than are in the Lego story. ;-)
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf 
> Of Emanuel Lowi
> Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2004 10:12 AM
> To:
> Subject: [Leica] Re: Interview on Zeiss Ikon
> Didier Ludwig wrote:
>> Comparing Leica vs. digital (today) to swiss watch manufacturers vs. 
>> quartz
>> (70ies) makes quite sense. Only the top swiss brands
>> with the upperclass
>> mechanical watches have survived this battle.
>> Meanwhile, many things have changed. Most of these
>> brands (not IWC) and
>> especially the heart of this industry, the clockwork manufactury ETA,

>> are today owned by the Swatch group - a swiss company,
>> too, but making it's
>> money with - quartz watches!
>> So the analogy could be Swatch = Cosina?...
> Here's another analogy from the local paper's business section the 
> other day.
> "Danish toymaker Lego Co. said yesterday it has yet to recover from a 
> financial crisis and expects to record a loss this year despite an 
> elaborate recovery plan that included increased focus on its classic 
> products. The company, whose coloured plastic building blocks
> have been a  favourite children's toy for decades,
> also said that 18-year chief executive Kjeld Kirk
> Kristiansen resigned and was replaced by Joergen Vig
> Kundstorp, a former senior vice-president for
> corporate affairs.
> Lego said it had laid off 1000 workers worldwide this
> year, leaving it with 7400 employees.
> The company said early this year it hoped to break
> even in 2004, and said two months ago it was on track
> to do so. However, sales in North America and Japan
> were poor, and increased competition from companies
> like Montreal-based Mega Bloks and price pressure in
> the toy business has taken its toll, Lego said.
> Overall, sales in Europe have also been disappointing,
> although sales grew in southern and eastern Europe as
> markets opened up.
> As part of its cost-cutting moves, Lego said it would
> spin off its four amusement parks into a separate
> company with an eye towards selling the division
> completely.
> The company isn't publicly traded, but has published
> earning reports since 1997.
> Founded in 1932, Lego's name was invented by combining
> the first two letters of the Danish word Leg godt
> (play well) without knowing that the word in latin
> means "I assemble."
> Lego = Leica
> Mega Bloks = Cosina
> Emanuel Lowi
> Montreal
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Replies: Reply from s.jessurun95 at (animal) ([Leica] Re: Interview on Zeiss Ikon)
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