Watch groups

Watch groups: who owns which brands?

Although many watch manufacturers remain independent and family owned, in the last decades many other brands have been consolidated into big conglomerates. In this post we take a look at the largest watch groups in the world and which watch brands they market. 

Binda Group
Based in Milan, Italy, Binda is a privately held italian watch and jewelry company that focuses on fashion brands. In 2008 Binda acquired the American company Geneva Watch Group.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Binda Group: Breil, Freestyle, Hip hop.

Watch brands marketed by Binda Group under a license agreement with the brand owner: Chronotech, Gametime, Kenneth Cole, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Moschino, Sperry Top-Sider, Ted Baker London, Tommy Bahama, Zoo York.

Citizen Group
Citizen is a publicly traded Japanese group. It was founded in 1930 by both Japanese and Swiss investors and until the Second World War the company relied on Swiss technology.  Citizen also owns Miyota, the movement manufacturer.  

Watch brands owned and marketed by Citizen Group: Alpina, Bulova, Bulova Accu Swiss, Campanola, Citizen, Q&Q.

Citychamp Group
Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group Limited is a public Hong Kong based company and watch brands owner. It was formerly named China Haidian. Citychamp has a relevant market position in the Chinese and asians markets. Recently Citychamp Group has acquired several international brands including the Swiss brands Eterna (acquired in 2011) and Corum (acquired in 2013). In 2014 Citychamp acquired the Swiss Dreyfuss Group and all its brands, including the Rotary watch brand.

Watch brands owned and marketed by the Citychamp Group: Codex, Corum, Dreyfuss & Co., Ebohr, Eterna, J&T Windmills, Rossini, Rotary.

Festina Group
Festina Group is a spanish private company based in Barcelona, Spain. Most of its brands including Festina are in the middle price range. Two of its brands (L. Leroy and Perrelet) are targeted to the luxury segment. The Festina Group owns Soprod, a movement manufacturer for many Swiss brands, as well as MHVJ the high-horology complications maker.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Festina Group: Candino, Festina, L.Leroy, Lotus, Perrelet.

Watch brands marketed by Festina Group under a license agreement with the brand owner: Calypso, Jaguar.

Fossil Group
Fossil Inc. is a publicly held company based in Richardson, Texas, USA. Although being a fashion group most of its revenue comes from watch sales, mostly fashion watches. Most of the Fossil Group’s movements are Japanese quartz, but Fossil has also has entered the “Swiss-made” market with the introduction of Fossil Swiss, a line of Fossil watches with quartz and mechanical movements produced in the Ticino canton in Switzerland.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Fossil Group: Fossil, Michele, Relic, Skagen, Zodiac.

Watch brands marketed by Fossil Group under a license agreement with the brand owner: Adidas, Armani Exchange, Burberry, Diesel, DKNY, Emporio Armani, Emporio Armani Swiss Made, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Tory Burch.

Franck Muller Group
Franck Muller Group is a privately owned Swiss luxury watch manufacturing and marketing group headquartered near Geneva in the town of Genthod. The Franck Muller brand is the original brand of the group and its biggest seller.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Franck Muller Group: Barthelay, European Company Watch, Franck Muller, Martin Braun, Pierre Kunz, Rodolphe.

Watch brands marketed by Franck Muller under a license agreement with the brand owner: Pierre Michael Golay, Roberto Cavalli, Smalto Timepieces.

Watch brands marketed by Franck Muller in joint venture with the brand owner: Backes & Strauss.

Kering Group
Paris based luxury group, Kering S.A., formerly known as Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR) is another french luxury brand conglomerate that has steadily built its watch brands portfolio. François-Henri Pinault is President and CEO of Kering since 2005. In March 2013 PPR changed its name to Kering. In 2019, the group’s revenue reached €15.9 billion.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Kering Group: Bottega Veneta, Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux, Gucci, Jean Richard, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin

French luxury goods groups Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) is based in Paris. The company was formed in 1987 when Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessey merged into the current publicly traded company. It is the largest luxury retailer owning some renowned watch brands like Tag Heuer which is one of top-selling Swiss brands. LVMH controls around 60 subsidiaries that each manage a small number of prestigious brands, 75 in total. The subsidiaries are often managed independently, under the umbrellas of six branches: Fashion Group, Wines and Spirits, Perfumes and Cosmetics, Watches and Jewelry, Selective Distribution, and Other Activities. The oldest of the LVMH brands is wine producer Château d’Yquem, which dates its origins back to 1593.

Watch brands owned and marketed by LVMH: Bulgari, Chaumet, Fred, Hublot, Tag Heuer, Zenith.

Movado Group International
Movado Group is a watch group based in Paramus, New Jersey, USA. It targets primarily two market segments: affordable luxury watches and fashion watches.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Movado Group: Concord, Ebel, ESQ by Movado, Movado.

Watch brands marketed by Movado Group under a license agreement with the brand owner: Coach, Hugo Boss, Juicy Couture, Lacoste, Scuderia Ferrari, Tommy Hilfiger.

Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, also known as Richemont, is a Swiss luxury goods holding group owning many well known watch brands. The group was formed in 1988 by Johann Rupert as a result of a spin-off of international assets of the Rembrandt Group Limited of South Africa.  Rembrandt was founded in the 1940’s as a brand owner in a wide variety of industries.  It is publicly traded as CFR on the Swiss Exchange and the JSE Securities Exchange.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Richemont: A. Lange & Sohne, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Officine Panerai, Piaget, Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels.

Watch brands marketed by Richemont in joint venture with the brand owner: Ralph Lauren.

Seiko Group
Seiko Holdings Corporation (セイコーホールディングス株式会社, Seikō Hōrudingusu Kabushiki-gaisha), commonly known as Seiko is a Japanese holding company that has subsidiaries which manufacture and sell watches, clocks, electronic devices, semiconductors, jewelries, and optical products. The Seiko Group was founded in 1881 by Kintaro Hattori. It’s a large japanese conglomerate with some very interesting watch brands under its management.

Watch brands owned and marketed by Seiko Group: Alba, Credor, Grand Seiko, Lorus, Orient, Pulsar, Seiko.

Swatch Group
The Swatch Group Ltd is a Swiss manufacturer of watches and jewellery. Swatch group is based in Bienne, Switzerland. The company was founded in 1983 by Nicolas Hayek from the merger of Allgemeine Gesellschaft der Schweizerischen Uhrenindustrie (ASUAG) and Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère (SSIH), in order to cope with the quartz crisis and save the Swiss watchmaking industry.

The Swatch Group is currently the largest watch groups in the planet. As of 2016 it employs about 35,700 people in 50 countries.

The group own 18 brands, a number that is very likely to grow in the following years. The brands cover all segments, from high end luxury watches like Blancpain or Breguet to niche popular brands like Flik Flak.  The Swatch Group is a publicly traded company.  In addition to the watch brands, Swatch also owns ETA the largest Swiss manufacturer of movements. 

Watch brands owned and marketed by The Swatch Group: Balmain, Blancpain, Breguet, ck Calvin Klein, Certina, Endura, Flik Flak, Glashütte Original, Hamilton, Harry Winston, Jaquet Droz, Leon Hatot, Longines, Mido, Omega, Rado, Swatch, Swiss Timing, Tissot, Union Glashütte.

Timex Group
The Timex Group is based in Middlebury, Connecticut, USA. Its main brand, Timex, is one of the largest sellers in the watch mass-market. It also makes brands under license agreements covering even the luxury segment with some of them. The company is privately held.

Watch brands owned and marketed by the Timex Group: Timex.

Watch brands marketed by the Timex Group under a license agreement with the brand owner: GC, Guess, Nautica, Opex, Salvatore Ferragamo Timepieces, Versace, Versus.

More info on Wikipedia.