Watch maker Villemont Geneve recently filed for bankruptcy after the boutique brand declared it was insolvent. After closing its doors, the brand made no mention of being purchased or saved, though their website is still operational. This comes as sad news as the weakening economy is beginning to have a serious effect on watch makers, especially those with a low volume output. Villemont produced only 311 watches last year, with a volume around that amount on average each year. The company employed just over a dozen employees.
When a watch maker sells only a small amount of watches each, it relies on a good deal of profit from each watch. A large dip in sales from a company with already slim distribution can spell disaster. Larger companies with higher volume and wider distribution are not immune from the economic situation, but can hold on much better.
In stronger economic times, boutique brands with niche products offer wonderful variety to the watch industry. The current economic situation will likely spell disaster for many unique brands just like Villemont, and larger companies may be less likely to offer experimental or overly avant garde watch designs until the economy improves.
Ariel Adams publishes the watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.