Lawyers, The Quartz Crisis and Swatch Watches: A Lesson On Disruption

February 23, 2017 By Stephen E. Embry
The Lawyerist

I love watches. I probably have two dozen—some so old I have to wind them. Some are solar-powered. Most are battery-operated. I even have four different smart watches.

My first watch was a Swiss-made Zodiac I purchased on a trip to the Caribbean right after law school. At the time, Zodiac made mid-range watches in the $300-600 range—nothing fancy, but I thought it was beautiful. I still have it and wear it. Still keeps perfect time.

Since the band had gotten a little tight on my arm and I had long since lost the extra links, I tried to find a replacement and Googled Zodiac. What I found was that Zodiac, as well as some other mid-range Swiss watchmakers, went out of business in the 1970s during something called the quartz crisis.

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