Elmar Mock is a prolific inventor with boundless curiosity and creativity. He is the co-inventor of the Swatch watch and founder of Creaholic SA, a company created in 1986 that specializes in innovation and design services for the automobile, health care, telecommunications, consumer products and other industries. Driven by his passion for new ideas, Elmar Mock loves to imagine a different tomorrow. On May 10, we will have the pleasure of hosting him for a conference on manufacturing innovation. He will be appearing as part of the Strategic Forum on Innovative Manufacturing, during which will be addressed major global issues surrounding the digital transformation, along with the decisive role of Quebec manufacturers in the evolution of jobs and increasing productivity.
Here are three things to know about Elmar Mock:
Gifted and dyslexic
Elmar Mock was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, a Swiss city in the canton of Neuchâtel. He is upfront about the fact that he was a rebellious, boisterous child, long considered the troublemaker of the family.
Because of his dyslexia, Elmar Mock had a great deal of difficulty completing his compulsory schooling, which didn’t mean he wasn’t extraordinarily gifted. After training as a watch engineer, and later as an engineer specialized in plastic polymers, Elmar Mock began his career at ETA, a Swiss company that develops and manufactures movements for the international watch industry. He was part of a team of young engineers.
At age 26, he co-invented the Swatch
The creative, iconoclastic Elmar Mock was not cut out for corporate work. At ETA, he surrounded himself with creative types, who, like him, were jacks of all trades. Collaborative work stimulated him and broke up the routine. In 1980, when the watchmaking industry was in sharp decline, Elmar Mock co-invented the emblematic Swatch with watchmaker Jacques Müller. They enjoyed the support of Ernst Thomke, then president of ETA. Swatch was a revolution in the world of Swiss watchmaking.
Swatch combined two new ideas: the use of plastic polymer as the main material and the development of an ultrasonic welding technique used to create the watch bracelet. The Swatch paved the way for a new generation of contemporary, electronic watches that were affordable for the general public. From that point on, the Switch watch industry underwent profound changes after years of crisis.
He contributed to over 180 patent families
In 30 years of work, through his company Creaholic, Elmar Mock has contributed to 750 projects and some 180 families of patents in a range of sectors, such as watchmaking, automobiles, food and pharmaceutical products.
The role of a company like Creaholic is to allow businesses in decline to tackle new ideas head on, something they often dread. The company’s clients include giants such as IKEA, Lufthansa, and BMW, as well as SMEs, for which it has produced a string of original innovations. He is also the inventor of a smart collar for pets, a kit that can transform the Fiat 500 into a hybrid car, and an ultralight external fixation to set fractures.