In the 1970s, the Swiss watchmaking industry was in crisis. At a time when the world market was expanding strongly, Swiss exports were falling.In the space of just a few years, the number of persons employed in the Swiss watchmaking industry fell to less than 40,000. The Swiss had missed the boat, despite the fact that it was they who had developed the first quartz wristwatch. But the Swiss watchmaking industry was focused on traditional movements and continued to rely on proven sales methods. In 1982 the first Swatch collection is ready and sees the initial production run of 300,000 watches. In 1996 Swatch serves as sponsor and timekeeper at the 24th Stramilano in Italy, with 50,000 runners participating over the course of the two-day event. A Italian marathon runner and winner of the gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games, accompanies Swatch, offering advice to participants in the races. The event also serves to promote the role of Swatch as Official Timekeeper at the upcoming Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.