As recently as last week, I was hearing rumors that suggested Bucherer would soon acquire Tourneau.
Today, those rumors came true, and Bucherer, Europe’s largest watch retailer, with 33 stores (16 in Switzerland, 10 in Germany, 1 in Vienna, 1 in Paris, and 4 in London), adds Tourneau’s 28 stores (all in the US) to their portfolio.
Tourneau has been around since 1900 and similar to Bucherer was the largest watch retailer in their respective market, the United States. However, in recent years, as the business model has shifted, Tourneau sales have declined and so they had been looking for a suitor, presumably, for a long time.
The acquisition makes sense, depending on the price of the deal, as the watch business is going through a serious period of changes right now (namely the adaptation of e-commerce, the threat of smartwatches, and the downward trend of traditional brick-and-mortar retail). For now, it is unclear if the Bucherer moniker will replace the Tourneau name in the US, though it seems inevitable considering the former is a more valuable brand and is the company taking over.
Below is an excerpt from the official announcement.
“With over a century of expertise as the preeminent purveyor of fine watches in the U.S., Tourneau provides an exciting opportunity for the Bucherer Group to establish a footprint and extend our offering of fine watches and jewelry to the United States,” said Guido Zumbühl, CEO of the Bucherer Group. “With this acquisition, we will immediately introduce the Bucherer brand to millions of potential customers in one of the most important global watch and jewelry markets. This is also a great opportunity to firmly establish the Carl F. Bucherer brand in the US and introduce Bucherer Fine Jewellery into the North American market.”
Zumbühl continued, “As a retail brand, we stand for the rich tradition of the Swiss quest for perfection, warm hospitality and constantly inspiring customers with fascinating brands and products. We will do everything to continue to provide our local and international customers the very best shopping experience both online and in our stores and are delighted that Tourneau’s management will join our team to ensure continuity and to help us drive the future success of Bucherer within the U.S.”
Ira Melnitsky, Chief Executive Officer of Tourneau, commented, “Bucherer is a dream partner for Tourneau. A Swiss company with 130 years of history in the industry, Bucherer understands fine watches like few others, making them the ideal partner for Tourneau. As our business continues to perform and grow, this is a natural next step for the Company. With the backing of one the world’s leading watch retailers, Tourneau’s customers, business partners and employees will benefit from Bucherer’s expertise, innovation, unmatched product selection, and services. I am extremely proud to be joining the Bucherer ‘family’ and look forward to an exciting future with our team.”
Jörg G. Bucherer, owner and President of Bucherer, said, “I am very delighted to bring my family’s brand to the United States. This strengthens the leadership of our company and brings the Bucherer name to one of the most important markets in the world. We want to inspire our American customers with outstanding choice and an impeccable Swiss service culture providing the very best shopping experience.”
Learn more at Business Wire.