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Patriotic accountancy at Swatch Group

It may be the world's largest watchmaker with revenues of CHF8.1 billion last year (€6.7 billion), but you can't accuse Swatch Group of losing touch with its roots.

It may be the world's largest watchmaker with revenues of CHF8.1 billion last year (€6.7 billion), but you can't accuse Swatch Group of losing touch with its roots.

The family business is very proud of its heritage – indeed, it owes its success to the high-quality clockwork synonymous with the Alpine nation.

So, in a drive to celebrate all things Swiss as part of its 30th birthday celebrations, Swatch has published a Swiss-German version of its 220-page annual report – who says accountancy can't be fun?

Swiss German, a dialect spoken throughout Switzerland, has no standard written form and is not easily understood by native-German speakers because of differences in words and pronunciations. Standard German is usually used in a business setting in Switzerland, but the group said it wanted to take a less conventional approach and celebrate its roots.

Second-gen chairwoman Nayla Hayek (pictured, above) said in the annual report: "We want to spotlight to an even greater extent our strong identity with our country and its values. Among these are dependability quality work and intelligence, but especially diversity, simplicity and modesty."

She added: "This act of true Swissness was done partly to shake up compatriots who – in their fondness for what is safe – sometimes allow themselves to follow a rather conventional, prudent and comfortable path."

German investors have a brainteaser on their hands, but those for whom both Swiss-German and German are a mystery need not worry; the report is also available in English. 

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