Time Marches On: The Worldwide Watch Industry
This case traces the development of the worldwide watch industry from its inception through to mid-1990. In particular, it allows the reader to observe some fairly dramatic shifts in industry leadership, as well as several dramatic examples of product redefinition along the way. The case is rich enough in content to allow the reader to identify a number of often-recurring reasons for the changes in industry leadership.
This case has been very extensively employed, both at Thunderbird and elsewhere. The author has taught this case 40 or 50 times, and other faculty have extensively used it as well.
While there are a variety of ways to use this case, we have normally employed it in order to focus on two somewhat overlapping issues. First, why do industries become global (and why, in this case, did this one become global so early)? Second, what are the changes in industry leadership (with an eye to identification), which drive changing competitive positions? Due to its broad-ranging set of issues, one can use the case as the basis for a class session early in the sequence in either an executive education program on global competition or in an elective course in global strategy or strategy implementation.