Rolex acquires 1st watch retailer Bucherer
No one expected such an announcement. The world's leading watch brand (Rolex) is to buy the world's leading watch retailer (Bucherer). A strategic shift for Rolex that goes beyond a simple buyout.
A strategic shift for Rolex
In the absence of a direct heir, Jörg Bucherer, the owner of the world's number one watch retailer, has decided to put his group up for sale. Bucherer has a large network of stores in all the finest districts of the world, especially in Europe.
Rolex's interest in this acquisition is therefore to gain access to more than a hundred high-end boutiques in the finest districts around the world. This will enable Rolex to secure its commercial clout by owning its own stores. Up until now, Rolex has had only one boutique of its own (in Geneva). The brand with the crown also wants to better understand and analyze the behavior of its end customers (age, socio-professional category, gender, etc.). Finally, by taking control of the Bucherer stores that serve many other competing brands, Rolex will be able to analyze the preferences of customers associated with these rival brands.
Bucherer takeover: the terms of the offer
The integration of Bucherer into the Rolex Group will become effective once the takeover has been approved by the competition authorities. The terms of the offer have not been detailed, and the transaction price has not been made public. However, the amount of the transaction is in the billions, a strategic choice for Rolex, which wants to get to know its clientele and better target purchasing behavior.
Founded in 1888, Bucherer was already a long-standing partner of Rolex, which marketed its watches through Bucherer boutiques. With the acquisition of Bucherer, Rolex aims to enter the retail business on a large scale. In Europe, Bucherer's most attractive locations include 12 Boulevard des Capucines in Paris, as well as boutiques in Lucerne, Düsseldorf, and Copenhagen. For example, the Copenhagen boutique, opened in 2016, is the largest watch and jewelry boutique in Scandinavia.
To find out more: the history of Rolex in a few dates
The history of Rolex is inextricably linked to the innovative and visionary spirit of its founder, Hans Wilsdorf. He created the brand with the crown in 1905, in London. Even in those early days, Rolex focused on the reliability of its watches and the quality of its movements. By choice, Hans Wilsdorf had them made by a Swiss manufacturer in Bienne.
- In 1910, the Bureau officiel de contrôle de la marche des montres in Biel issued the very first official Swiss certificate of good working order for a Rolex wristwatch. It was the start of a long story.
- In 1914, the Kew Observatory in Great Britain issued a Class "A" certificate of accuracy to the Rolex wristwatch, a distinction hitherto reserved exclusively for naval chronometers.
- Between the wars, Rolex equipped the first expedition to fly over Mount Everest with Rolex Oyster watches, as well as leading racing pilots.
- In 1953, Rolex released two legendary watches: the Explorer to celebrate the historic ascent of Mount Everest, and the Submariner, the first diving watch to be waterproof to 100 meters.
- In 1971, Rolex launched the Comex watch, named after the Compagnie Maritime d'Expertise, and equipped divers with "Sea-Dweller" watches for their work in deep waters.
Today, the brand with the crown continues to innovate and focus on excellence. Official watch of SailGP, premium partner and official watch of Roland-Garros, Rolex equips many sportsmen and women as it did in the early days.