Ice-Watch the “new” Swatch-Group?

Maybe? No, it won’t become the new Swatch-Group. But Ice-Watch has an important contribution to the watch market just like the Swatch-Group has.

Column by Jacco Lodewikus.

Nowadays it’s not obvious that people will buy a watch due to time display at their mobile phones. Young people will spend their money at a mobile phone or other things rather then buying a watch.

That’s where the marketing strategy of Ice-Wath comes in. Ice-Watch is the Belgium company which sold more then 12.000.000 million watches since 2007. They have watches of synthetic materials starting at a price of 59 euro and focusing at a young segment of buyers. Ice-Watch primary uses social media and mass-media to position there watches, with succes.

Ice-Watch is expending there product range thru usage of more types of materials, collaborations and the recent acquisition of Patton. This results in a very wide range of products starting at €59 up to €2500. Ice-Watch and Patton will become brands of the new established Ice-Group.

At the end, by offering a wide range of watches  the market share is big. This makes it a brand thats interesting for a consumer group that’s normally not looking for watch but likes it anyway as a fashion statement. The positive thing about this, the potential new watch enthousiasts are born.

For more information about Ice-Watch read our interview with Ice-Watch CEO, Jean-Pierre Lutgen.


Swatch was originally intended to re-capture entry level market share lost by Swiss manufacturers during the aggressive growth of Japanese companies such as Seiko and Citizen in the 1960s and 1970s and to re-popularize analog watches at a time when digital watches had achieved wide popularity. The launch of the Swatch brand in 1983 was marked by bold new styling, design and marketing.

Lebanese entrepreneur, Nicolas G. Hayek, who, with a group of Swiss investors, took over a majority shareholding of Swatch during 1985 in the then, between ASUAG and SSIH, newly consolidated group under the name Societe Suisse de Microelectronique et d’Horlogerie, or SMH, became Chairman of the board of directors and CEO in 1986 (who later significantly changed its name to Swatch Group), further masterminded its development to reach its now major worldwide Swiss watch brand status within the lower end of watch prices.

This combination of marketing and manufacturing expertise restored Switzerland as a major player in the world wristwatch market. Synthetic materials were used for the watchcases as well as a new ultra-sonic welding process and the assembly technology..The Swatch watch was also known as the savior, to many of the swatch-watch style fans.