For the past decade innovativeness, as opposed to innovation, has received considerable attention in the academic literature as well as the corporate arena because it is considered to promote a competitive advantage. This study examines the link between innovativeness and performance of SMEs in the Swiss watch industry, in terms of customer orientation, competition orientation and inter-functional coordination. It uses performance measures such as market share, percentage of new product sales to total sales and return on investment (ROI), and has developed a new research scale of innovativeness. The results show that customer orientation has a positive effect on performance as well as the level of innovativeness in each company. There are also strategic implications for CEOs and managers as far as the methodological limitations and future research directions are concerned.