Brand acquisitions in the watch industry are always a cause for speculation and celebration at the same time. When an independent brand gets bought over, you can be assured that changes are imminent. How drastic these changes really depends on the group, really. For Ulysse Nardin, whose big announcement this morning came in the form of the brand’s acquisition by Kering (formerly known as PPR).
The Kering Group, that already owns other haute horlogerie brands like JeanRichard, Girard-Perregaux and Boucheron will add Ulysse Nardin to its stellar tier of high-end luxury watches. What this means for Ulysse Nardin is uncertain currently but rest assured that the brand will continue to put out the fine level of haute horlogerie that it has come to be known for, hopefully being able to utilise technical know-how from Kering’s other watch brands and vice versa.
We leave you with words from both François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s Chairman and CEO and Mrs Chai Schnyder, the Chairman of Ulysse Nardin’s Board of Directors. Pinault stated, “Ulysse Nardin benefits from a rich heritage, high profitability and solid growth prospects. Independent high-end watchmaking manufactures are rare. This is an opportunity that we had to seize, particularly because this structural acquisition will enable us to take advantage of numerous synergies with our existing brands. We have great ambitions for this company and we will help it continue its international expansion whilst staying faithful to its roots and its identity. In this regard, I am pleased that Mrs Schnyder accepted to remain a member of its board of directors. I have long admired Ulysse Nardin and I am delighted that this brand is joining our ‘Luxury – Watches and Jewellery’ division.”
Mrs Schnyder had simple words. “Joining Kering is an opportunity for Ulysse Nardin. It will allow the brand to carry on with its international expansion and continue to innovate, while assuring the long-term future of its knowledge and expertise and the retention of its identity. I am delighted that Ulysse Nardin has found the best partner in Kering.”
It looks to be a bright future for Ulysse Nardin and its expansion plans, having just opened its first boutique here in Singapore just a few months back. Keep your eyes peeled for the latest in haute horlogerie from the brand.