Concerns about mechanical driven capacitor watches. Seiko, Citizen, Ventura.

Jan 19, 2008,16:43 PM

A htread below, citing a terrible realization that Citizen Eco Drives last only 10 to 20 years, likewise Seiko's...are of grave concern.

As a collector of watches, I have a considerable number of all of these.

I have realised that the battery availability problem is one, and for my Bulova Accutrons from 1965's, I use space adapters.

However, I was dissapointed to hear that some watches use rechargeable battery technology for their mechanical watches!!! This is a disaster.

Does anyone know if Ventura and Seiko use capacitor technolgy or rechargeable battery tech, and if their watches "last forever"?

Ventura, the only company that made high quality Swiss type digitals went bust last year, it was is a short report of note.

High-quality digital clocks bring Volketswiler Ventura into the bankruptcy
Ventura Watch was known for Design-oriented watches and focused since two years fully on high-quality digital watches. Now Ventura deposited the balance.

Since 1990 stood the Volketswil Ventura Design on time for wrist-watches, with which the time indicator was reduced to the substantial. Shortly after the company was founded, the digital clock "Watch" of the designer Flemming Bo Hansen became with 50'000 copies a huge success: A rectangular flat steel housing that encloses a digital display of only four large numbers. It made it quickly into the permanent collection of the museum of modern art in New York. Later Ventura made sensation with mechanical clocks, sketched by the Zurich architect and designer Hannes Wettstein.

Two years ago Ventura founder Pierre A. Nobs wanted to secure their unmistakableness with a courageous decision of the brand. Instead of continuing to compete in hard contest price segment from 1000 to 5000 CHF for mechanical clocks against countless competitors, Nobs decided to go for a niche: Ventura should become the brand for technically innovative, Swiss-made digital watches with high Design quality.

Success took time
But Nobs needed funds. In 2005 A group of investors took over of the firm founder the majority, the share capital by 500'000 to 900'000 CHF was supplemented. But success with the new positioning at the market took time: Was the turnover in 2004 still 5.5 million CHF, it sagged 2006 to approximately 2 million, and in the current year was "the course of business" even worse, as Pierre A. Nobs in a report writes the media.
On Thursday Ventura announced bankruptcy.
Nobs explained, the promised investments weren't made, and accuses the new owner to have pulled the plug too fast: The shareholders which were active in the private Equity and Hedge fund business would have "obviously their own conception concerning the long-termness". Reto Suter, director of Horizon21 private Equity in Pffaefikon SZ and board of directors president of Ventura denies this: "we did not see the perspectives ultra-short-term and also not medium-term". But expenditure and yield could not have been brought to the equilibrium.

By the bankruptcy of Ventura eight persons are concerned in Volketswil and four in the German branch in Nuremburg (babelfish: peppering castle). Pierre A. Nobs raises steep reproaches: In the surrounding field of the bankruptcy "board of directors president and shareholders have served themselves still extensively with valuable clocks from the stock", while the coworkers had to wait for their wages. Ventura executive board president Reto Suter did not want to express himself to these reproaches.

Industry foreigner at power
Company founder ­Pierre Nobs looked for financial sources in the consequence and found it in the surrounding field of Hedge fund managers, who showed up enthusiastically by the idea and assured an appropriate funds support. On five years the laid out Business plan for the restructuring planned that in the first two years still on red numbers had to be counted, the "BREAK Even" was intended for the third year. In accordance with Pierre Nobs his Ventura was actually fully in the context of this plan, despite compared with the previous years reduced turnover. The investors had however obviously different conceptions of "long-term commitment", displaced Nobs of all positions without further ado and used a new "Interim CEO". Shortly after, "the plug was pulled", although, according to Nobs, there were appropriate open accounts payable in a framework, which would not have required the drastic measure of the balance depositing yet.

The pipeline would be full…
Nobs gives himself optimistically and does not want give up his life's work - he is intensive on the lookuot for new partners with whose assistance he can secure himself the bankrupt's estate, in order to make a new beginning. "I will however certainly mess araound any more with ` Financiers ', but only with persons, who have a a genuine, respectable background in the clock industry, and whose horizon goes futher than the next quarter result. Our pipeline is full - many novelties would be ready, several components are already produced ­und could be supplied by the suppliers within short period. Also drafts exist of Paolo Fancelli for a long expected successor of the legendary "Watch" - a simple digital clock in a price segment of 600-700CHF, progressed very far, for which trade and final customers actually wait already longer. This potential best seller was also a component of our five year plan for the Turnaround of Ventura. I hope naturally much that this clock can be nevertheless still realized soon."

Service and repairs: unclearly
The question is not yet clarified, how it will go on with service and repairs for existing Ventura clocks - according to Nobs statements, he is currently working on a solution. Spare parts would be present in principle, are however for the time being still blocked in the bankrupt's estate. Until one knows details will depend thus also on how rapidly the bankruptcy proceedings are completed. We will inform you naturally here, as soon as we know more.

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Comments: view entire thread


Bernard, for a quartz watch to last 10-20 years...

 By: Ronald Held : January 20th, 2008-05:37
on a cell is enough time, as long as the cell can be replaced. I would be as concerned about the ICs that are in the watch.

Seiko parts availability: 10 years

 By: mycroft : January 20th, 2008-07:29
Hey Bernard. I just bought a SpringDrive. In the manual, near the last few pages, Seiko states that parts will be available for 10 years. After that, god help us all. This makes me a little queasy to say the least!!

At least 10 years ...

 By: cazalea : January 20th, 2008-13:56

It is worse than you think...

 By: DonCorson : January 21st, 2008-11:21
Even if a steel part for an old watch is no longer available, a watch restorer could make one. With the advances of semiconductor technology the production lines for the old parts are torn up and thrown away. Even if you had the design information of thos... 

And that's why we love mechanics :0) [nt]

 By: Ares501 - Mr Green : January 21st, 2008-12:43


 By: james_qp : February 5th, 2008-04:02