Rolex has revealed that it’s acquiring Bucherer, one of the world’s largest luxury watch retailers and the official retailer of the brand since 1924. According to the official statement, Bucherer will keep its name and continue to operate independently. The authorised-retailer partnership between the two brands spans almost a century, so for it to culminate in Rolex’s ownership of the retailer has, expectedly, taken the industry by surprise.
The decision of acquisition followed the choice made by Jörg Bucherer — who has been managing the third-generation family-owned business since 1977 — in the absence of direct descendants, to sell his company’s business. Bucherer accounts for more than 100 sales outlets worldwide (with stores located in Switzerland, the United States, England, Germany, France, Denmark, and Austria), of which 53 distribute the Rolex brand and 48 distribute products belonging to sister brand, Tudor. The watch retailer is also an official after-sales service centre for both brands.
In the press statement, the brand shares, “The Rolex group is convinced that this acquisition is the best solution not only for its own brands but also for all the watch and jewellery partner brands, as well as for all the employees of the Bucherer group.” The statement also mentions that the group’s management team will remain unchanged and collaborations between Rolex and other official retailers in its sales network will not undergo any change either.
Bucherer’s integration into the Rolex group will be effective once the competition authorities have approved the takeover transaction. But what will such an integration really amount to? Rolex will now have its own stores selling Rolex watches in addition to its expansive network of highly-valued third-party retailers worldwide; how will that play out for the industry?
More developments are certainly expected to follow an announcement of such magnitude, and we will be keeping an eye out.