In the 70s, the Swiss watch industry – late
in introducing quartz movements - was hit by the proliferation
of quartz watches from the Far East.
The technological revolution
brought about by the quartz movement, together with the world-wide
recession and a massive increase in value of the Swiss franc,
pushed many manufacturers to the brink of disaster.
that had earned Glycine such an excellent reputation, namely
high-quality mechanical watches and above all automatic watches,
were suddenly no longer in general demand. Customers everywhere
were buying Japanese quartz watches or American digital LED
watches. The lucrative business with highly-regarded automatic
watches was over, and these were now being sold off at give-away
The market went through a turnaround in its values,
a tendency which further intensified as the price for the
initially exorbitantly expensive quartz watches consistently
dropped to a level where it finally drove even the cheap
pin-pallet (Roskopf) mechanical movements out of the market.
Many market shares were lost, the industry entered into a
crisis that lasted six years and cost roughly 60,000 jobs.
too suffered heavily but managed to survive. In 1984, soldering
on with a reduced staff, Glycine was sold to Hans
Brechbühler, who had been working for years with Glycine
in a loose cooperation based on the joint development and
exchange of watch models.
The Glycine newsletter "Glycine Constructor" of
1971 still featured one of the mechanical Vaccum watches on
the front page - despite the ongoing