Luxury group Kering have announced that they have acquired Ulysse Nardin. The watch brand will join Girard-Perregaux and Jeanrichard (Sowind), Boucheron and Pomellato, along with luxury brands Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Sergio Rossi and others. Founded in 1846, Ulysse Nardin was proud of its independence and its status as one of the few Swiss watch brands that has remained in continuous production for over 165 years, operating from its historic base in La Locle. It suffered during the quartz crisis and was purchased by a consortium headed by Rolf Schnyder in 1983. Innovative watches such as the Freak brought it back to health and success.
Rolf Schnyder died in 2011, and his wife Chai Schnyder became chairperson of the board of directors of Ulysse Nardin. She declared, “Joining Kering is an opportunity for Ulysse Nardin. It will allow the brand to carry on with its international expansion and continue to innovate while assuring the long-term future of its knowledge and expertise and the retention of its identity. I am delighted that Ulysse Nardin has found the best partner in Kering.”
According to the company press release, Patrik Hoffmann will retain his role as CEO of Ulysse Nardin, along with Susanne Hurni (head of marketing and communication) and Pierre Gygax (vice-director).
Other recent moves in the Kering group include the arrival of Bruno Grande as Chief Operating Officer at JeanRichard, and Michele Sofisti’s work on the relaunch above all of the Jeanrichard brand but also of Girard-Perregaux, while continuing as CEO of Gucci Group Watches.
Another press release yesterday announced that China Haidian Holding Limited, the Chinese owners of Corum, have changed name to become Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group Lmited. The chairman of Citychamp is Mr. Hon Kwok Lung, whose personal interest iin timepieces has led to its purchase of Corum, Eterna and Rotary, as well as two of China’s most important watch brands, Rossini and EBOHR. Hon Kwok Lung said, “The new name marks a new milestone in our development, providing a clear new corporate image and reflecting our core business… looking ahead, we are aggressively expanding our watch and timepiece business…” The Group has a well-developed distribution business in mainland China, with about 280 self-owned boutiques working with a range of watch brands.