Often times, the watch industry landscape changes. A well known brand is bought out by a large watch company and so the balance of power shifts just a little bit. Here's a look at some of the most important changes in the industry in last 3 years:
Swatch Group (Switzerland) swatchgroup.com
Flik Flak, Swatch, Calvin Klein, Balmain, Hamilton, Mido, Certina, Leon Hatot, Longines, Rado, Tissot, Union Glashutte, Breguet, Glashutte Original, Harry Winston, Omega, Blancpain, Calvin Klein, Jaquet Droz
The Swatch Group is based in Bienne, Switzerland and it is currently the world's biggest watch company with a net sales of $9.04B in 2013, majority of which came from watches and jewelry. They have close to 34,000 employees and owns 184 subsidiary companies.
The Swatch Group is a publicly traded company and it owns 18 brands of watches with Breguet being the most expensive while Omega is the one that generates the highest income for the company.
They are the most powerful company in the industry due to its ownership of many component makers like the ETA which is the movement-production arm of the Swatch Group and is the top suppler of Swiss industry watch movements. Another company owned by the Swatch Group is a supplier of hairsprings, the Nivarox-FAR.
It bought Harry Winston in 2013 which gives The Swatch Group more strength in the jewelry business but also a bigger access to the global diamond market. They recently won a lawsuit against Tiffany & Co over the latter's production of brand watches and as a result the Swatch Group has stopped making watches under this marque.
Richemont Group (Switzerland) richemont.com
A. Lange & Sohne, Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, Dunhill, Montblanc, Baume & Mercier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Roger Dubuis, IWC Schaffhausen, Officine Panerai, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Ralph Lauren
Another lead player in the luxury products business, Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA has 20 brands, majority of which (13) make watches. Their net sales for 2014 amounted to $13.77B. The company employes a total of 29,101 employees.
The brands under the Richemont umbrella are divided into several categories. There's the Specialist Watchmakers division which includes IWC Schaffhausen, A. Lange & Sohne, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Baume & Mercier, Ralph Lauren, Officine Panerai, Vacheron Constantin, and Roger Dubuis. For the Jewelry Maisons, they include Van Cleef & Arpeels and Cartier, which is the biggest brand in their portfolio and the 2nd top watch brand worldwide. The third is the Other Business division which includes Montblanc and Dunhill.
The Specialist Watchmakers made up 28% of the 2014 sales with about $3.86B and 51% of which is from Cartier. Another 7% is from Montblanc while the Other Businesses adds 14%.
LVMH Group (France) lvmh.com
TAG Heuer, Dior, Zenith, Hublot, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Chaumet, Fred
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA is the world's biggest luxury goods group and it owns dozens of brands in various industries like liquor, fashion, cosmetics, jewelry and watches. Its retail division is quite huge with over 3000 stores globally. The company is based in Paris and it is publicly traded with a total sales of $37.69B in 2013. LVMH's watch division has been around for 15 years and its latest acquisition is Bulgari which happened in 2012. Its largest brand of watch is TAG Heuer and it's also one of the highest selling Swiss brands.
KERING Group (France)kering.com/brands
Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Boucheron, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregauz and Qeelin
KERING is a Paris-based company that focuses on retail and fashion. It changed its name in 2013, from PPR and it's publicly traded. In the same year their total revenue was $12.6B, around half of this came from its luxury division, mostly from Gucci. KERING has steadily built its watch business and in 2012 they bought Sowind Group which includes Jean Richard and Girard Perregaux. Just recently the company purchased Ulysse Nardin, a Swiss watch brand. Kering has 35,000 employees.
SEIKO GROUP (Japan) seiko.co.jp
Seiko, Orient, Credor, Grand Seiko, Lorus, Alba and Pulsar
The SEIKO Group is a huge conglomerate that creates many kinds of products. It is comprised of Seiko Holdings and Seiko Epson. Seiko Holdings handles the Seiko Watch Group while Seiko Epson is the parent company of Orient Watch Co, LTD. They prodce all the components of their quartz watches and they also make high end mechanicals under the brand Grand Seiko. For 2014, The Seiko Group had a total revenue of $12.75B and over $1B is from watch sales. They employ close to 13500 people.
FOSSIL GROUP (USA) fossilgroup.com
Fossil, Michele, Skagen, Relic, Zodiac, Burberry, Addidas, DKNY, Diesel, Michael Kors, Emporio Armani, Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, Emporio Armani Swiss Made, Karl Lagerfield and Armani Exchange
FOSSIL INC is based in Richardson, TX and it's a very powerful company in the fashion-watch industry, with sales of $3.26B in 2013, majority of which came from watches. It recently acquired Skagen in 2012. Their movements are mostly Japanese quartz but Fossil has ventured into the Swiss movements, starting with the introduction of Fossil Swiss. In 2014 it added another Swiss made line to their Emporio Armani brand and unveiled a licensed watch brand under Tory Burch.
MOVADO GROUP (USA) movadogroup.com
Juicy Couture, Lacoste, Ebel, Movado, Concord, ESQ by Movado, Coach, Hugo Boss, Scuderia Ferrari and Tommy Hilfiger
Movado Group International is based in Paramus, New Jersey and it is a leader in affordable luxury and fashion watches. Its main brand is Movado but they also have two high end brands of Swiss luxury watches namely Ebel and Concord. Half of the company's rveenue comes from 6 brands and in 2014 their total sales was $570.3 million. They also employ 1,100 people.
Here are other brands from big companies:
- CITIZEN GROUP – Citizen, Q&Q, Bulova, Campanola, Arnold and Son, Bulova Accu Swiss, Bulova Accutron II, Harley Davidson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Bulova Clocks, Wittnauer, Caravelle New York. Revenue in 2013 is $3.01B
- TIMEX GROUP – Timex, Opex, GC, Nautica, Guess, Versus, Versace, Salvatorre Ferragamo Timepieces
- FRANCK MULLER GROUP - Franck Muller, Backes and Strauss, European Company Watch, Pierre Kunz, Roberto Cavalli, Smalto Timepieces, Pierre MichaelGolay, Martin Braun, Barthelay
- CITYCHAMP GROUP – J&T Windmills, Dreyfuss & Co, Codex, Rossini, Corum, Eterna, Ebohr, Rotary. Revenue in 2013 ($409.8 million)
- BINDA GROUP – Sperry TopSider, Gametime, Breil, Freestyle, Hip Hop, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Kenneth Cole, Moschino, Zoo York, Chronotech, Tommy Bahama, Ted Baker London
- FESTINA GROUP – Calypso, Festina, Lotus, Perrelet, L. Leroy, Candino, Jaguar