Monday, August 21, 2006

Tissot SUCKS. The Swatch Group SUCKS.

Can I just vent for a minute about how much The Swatch Group SUCKS?

For years, I have lost dozens of contracts to those Swiss motherfuckers because they GIVE their Timing & Scoring services away (as "Swiss Timing") for free in order to promote their wristwatches. NOBODY ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET would EVER actually BUY Swiss Timing's shitty Timing & Scoring services, because they generally suck at it, and their "value in kind" for their services are 3x or 4x the going price of the COMPETENT vendors out in the marketplace. Swiss Timing's software blows, their hardware was all designed in the 1960's and their "staff" are mostly gnomes. One of the happiest days in my life was when four of their gnomes showed up for a World Cup ski race in Altenmarkt in 2004, and the Austrian team told them to get right back in their cars, drive outa town, and FUCK OFF because Austria had found somebody better (my group) and they were sick of dealing with Swiss Timing's lies, blackmail, and sharp elbows.

In short, Swiss Timing cheats. They engage in systematic business fraud, unfair restraint of trade, and blackmail. Says who? The Swiss courts. When I was with TAG Heuer, TAG sued Swiss Timing's parent (the Swatch Group) TWICE on these very grounds, and in both lawsuits, TAG Heuer won. Swatch Group was guilty, and paid large penalties.

For three years (2003-2005), my colleague Fred Patton at Phoenix Sports did the Timing & Scoring for the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, using my software and TV graphics. This was a bit of revenge on The Swatch Group, because Swatch was paying the UCI for a timing sponsorship, and the UCI had the balls to tell Swatch they were using the money to hire Fred instead of trading out the sponsorship for Swatch's services. The UCI basically told Swatch that they suck, and they're too expensive, and Fred provides a better service. Which is, of course, all true, but as a sponsor, Swatch seldom has people tell them that so bluntly. Toward the end of that deal, I needed a new watch, so I bought a Tissot T-Touch. I figured Tissot was, indirectly, paying me, so I might as well give their watches a try. Andrew McCord, a UCI commissaire, was wearing one at the UCI event in Manchester UK, and one morning during the event, I checked it out over breakfast. It seemed like a pretty cool timepiece.

Well that Tissot T-Touch has been back to the factory for a rebuild 5 times in 18 months. It has never run for more than two months in a row. Tissot keep repairing it under warranty, but repeatedly sending it back is just a major pain in the ass. I guess The Swatch Group's watches are as hopeless as Swiss Timing, the company's Timing & Scoring division.

When I arrived in NY the other day for the US Open, I noticed that my Tissot watch had died. Again. Aaaargh. I can't possibly get through this tournament without a good watch with an alarm and a chronograph, so I shipped that Tissot piece of shit back to the factory repair center in Secaucus, and I took the subway over to Jct Blvd and bought a Citizen Skyhawk. Citizen is the time sponsor here at the US Hopeless, so it's the least I can do. It's a pretty cool watch, it has the features I need, it's not terribly expensive, and it's NOT Swiss. (NOTE: both of my TAG Heuer watches are currently broken as well). Hopefully I won't suffer the same fate as the last time I bought a watch in consideration of sponsorship.


FSDB121 said...

Can't agree more. Tissot has cool design, CRAP dependibility. And Swatch Group is highway robbery for repair services. Tissot and Swatch suck, don't buy their junk

Wayne310 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wayne310 said...

had a similar bad experience with Tissot and Rado watch....Tissots chronograph stopped working and under warranty period they voided my warranty claiming it was 'damaged under accident'

i guess buying tissot was the biggest accidental mistake of my life.

Rado's glass fell off while walking..

they charge prices upto 70% of the retail price for Repair UNDER warranty period.

and whenever you go to their service center..its always filled with customers who have problems.

never buying their pretentious watches again....even a cheap casio has lasted me six years with more adventurous usage.

Steve Wilmore said...

On a business trip to Zurich, I decided to "upgrade" to a Tissot watch. I bought the watch in February and in May the stem completely pulled out of the watch while I was adjusting the time for a change of time zones. Really I am no gorilla! I excerted no more force than I had adjusting time many times before, since the watch gained about a minute a day from the first day I bought it. When I sent it to Tissot for repair, they claimed the watch must have been in an accident, describing it as having scratches and dents in addition to the problem I sent it to them to repair. As I had actually treasured the watch in the 3 months I had owned it, I had to assume the description was fabricated, or the "scratches and dents" were invisible to the naked eye and present when I purchased the watch. Either way, they used the claim that it had been in an accident as a pretext for stating the repair would not be covered by the warranty, and I would have to pay to get it repaired. I have reluctantly agreed to pay, but after this experience I would never buy another Tissot. I wish I had done some research before rather tha after buying the watch. In all my years of owning watches, I have never had such a major mechanical failure, let alone a watch that failed within 3 months. And at the price they charged for the watch, I would expect the warranty to have some meaning and value. Apparently not. Stay clear of Tissot!!!!

James said...

Dear Tissot,

I am very disappointed to have had to return a brand new Tissot watch to the reputable jewellers shop from which a bought it only a few days previously. Buying the watch was the end result of years of wanting a beautiful watch that I could appreciate for the rest of my life, lengthy online research and the achievement of a major life event (the justification for buying myself something that could in many ways be viewed as extravagant). I chose Tissot because of your excellent designs, sensible pricing and reputation for outstanding quality. Needless to say I am sorely disappointed that this entire endeavour and assumption about the quality of Tissot proved to entirely flawed. I am just grateful for the jewellery shop for accepting my return of the faulty goods without quibble; I am sure they will be contacting you directly to return the faulty item.

To my mind, a precision engineering process that does not cut corners should not produce chance failures or even fluctuations in performance. It should consistently produce goods to an identical standard. The failure of my Tissot watch only goes to show that this type of manufacturing process is not the one that you operate. This is a real shame as Tissot is a brand with strong heritage and reputation.

The reason I am writing this email is that I feel very let down by your company and I think you should know that. I seek no remedial action on your part. I shall simply save up for a little longer, wait for the right moment and buy a watch from a superior manufacturer. I am sure this regrettable scenario could have been avoided if Tissot had spent a fraction of its PR and marketing budget on more advanced R&D and quality control. Instead, however, I now join the apparently growing chorus of voices that actively talk about Tissot to friends and family, offering the very antithesis to recommendations and endorsements.

In case it is of interest, the watch I purchased was a PRC200. All functions appeared to work correctly but it lost 15 minutes every 24 hours.

Your sincerely,

James Mitchell

The Mighty Skunk said...

Mr. Mitchell,

Thanks for your comment. Please be aware The Swatch Group owns over a dozen brands. As you ponder the purchase of a more expensive watch, check to see that the brand isn't a Swatch Group-owned brand such as Omega, Longines, RADO, and Patek Phillipe. Based on your experience so far, you probably want to avoid those brands too.

Outta Time said...

Just to clarify, Swatch does NOT own Patek Philippe. They own Breguet, Hamilton, Omega, Tissot, Harry Winston, Blancpain, Certina, Jaquet Droz, Mido, Calvin Klein and Glashutte Original. They have basically screwed the industry by shutting down the parts network for their near-monopoly movement Co., namely ETA. That means to get your watch serviced, adjusted, repaired, out of warranty, they are forcing you to deal directly with them and their repair centre. Your friendly neighbourhood watchmaker can no longer even fix your bracelet. As mentioned, you might want to think twice about buying into these brands.
Essentially they are killing off supply houses that have been in operation for a hundred years by pulling all parts for ETA, and without this source of revenue, the supply houses cannot survive on their tool sales and clock parts.

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