The watch magazine for pocketwatches, antique watches, vintage watches and modern watches

Swatch Group snaps up Harry Winston in $1bn deal

by Philip Kaspar
16 January, 2013
Join the discussion | Discuss this article

About the author

Philip is widely travelled and has worked as a freelance journalist covering several topics including fashion, travel and watches. He also spent five years in the heart of the Swiss watchmaking industry in La Chaux de Fonds. Philip reports on all the latest watch news and is our WatchCrime reporter.

Harry Winston

Swatch is paying up to $1bn (£619m) for the watch brand known as the brand of the stars, – the glamorous jeweller and watchmaker Harry Winston, who made it clear some months ago that their watchmaking division was up for grabs.

The world’s biggest watchmaker is paying $750m for Harry Winston, which employs 535 people, plus up to $250m of net debt. It is not buying Harry Winston’s diamond mining activities, although the sale provides the company with the cash to invest more in diamond mining, a business that last year was more than twice as profitable as jewellery. The luxury jewellery brand said it will be known as Dominion Diamond Corp. when the Swatch transaction closes.

“Harry Winston brilliantly complements the prestige segment of the group. We are proud and happy to welcome Harry Winston to the Swatch Group family. Diamonds are still a girl’s best friend.” Nicolas ‘Nick’ Hayek, Swatch Chairman

Under the deal, both companies will explore the possibility of setting up a joint venture that will focus on diamond polishing.

It is Swatch’s first big takeover in years. Swatch already owns high end luxury brands including Omega, Breguet, Blancpain and Jaquet Droz. It has bought several component makers over the past years, but it has been more than a decade since it bought a major watch brand.

Robert Gannicott, the chairman and chief executive of Harry Winston, said: “The Harry Winston brand now has a new home that can provide the skills and support that it deserves to realise its true potential.”

Last week, Swatch beat expectations for global annual sales despite a slowdown in demand for its luxury watches in China.

 

Philip Kaspar | Website

Philip is widely travelled and has worked as a freelance journalist covering several topics including fashion, travel and watches. He also spent five years in the heart of the Swiss watchmaking industry in La Chaux de Fonds. Philip reports on all the latest watch news and is our WatchCrime reporter.

Discuss: Swatch Group snaps up Harry Winston in $1bn deal

0 Comment You can be the first one to leave a message


Add your comment