1st Edition

Industrial Development, Technology Transfer, and Global Competition
A history of the Japanese watch industry since 1850

ISBN 9780367350314
Published June 3, 2019 by Routledge
242 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations

USD $46.95

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Book Description

The phenomena of Japan emerging as one of the most competitive industrial nations in the twentieth century and the general shift of competitiveness to East Asia since the 1980s have been widely studied by many scholars from different fields of the social sciences. Drawing on sources from Japanese, Swiss, and American archives, the historical analysis of this book tackles a wide range of actors and sheds light on the various processes that enabled Japanese watch companies to transfer technology and expand commercially starting in the second half of the nineteenth century.

By exploring the case of the watch industry, this book serves to establish a better understanding of the origins of the competitiveness of Japanese manufacturing and its evolution until its decline in the post‐bubble economy (in the 1990s and 2000s).

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables



PART I The birth of an industry (1850–1945)

1 The emergence and the growth of a market

2 The first steps towards industrialization (1880–1914)

3 Technological challenges (1900–1937)

4 The evolution of markets (1900–1937)

5 The main manufacturers

6 The experience of war

PART II The conquest of the world (1945–1985)

7 Technological challenges

8 The evolution of markets

9 Organization and management of the largest watch companies

PART III The Japanese watch industry since 1985






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Pierre‐Yves Donzé is Associate Professor in business history at the Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University. His publications include History of the Swiss Watch Industry from Jacques David to Nicolas Hayek (2011) and articles in Business History, Social History of Medicine, Enterprise & Society and Business History Review.