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.