In a strategic move, Breitling has announced its acquisition of Universal Genève, signaling a new era for the revered brand celebrated for its horological artistry and innovation. This development is poised to revive the legacy of a name steeped in the history of luxury timepieces.
Georges Kern, the CEO of Breitling, expressed his excitement about the acquisition while acknowledging the significant responsibility that comes with restoring the profound heritage of Universal Genève. Kern stated, “As excited as we are, we are also fully aware of the task at hand and the profound heritage we are set to uphold.” The meticulous endeavor will require a dedicated team, and both brands will operate as separate maisons, preserving their individual identities.
Universal Genève, founded in 1894, gained prominence in the early to mid-20th century through its innovative designs and technical prowess. However, the quartz crisis in the late 20th century posed significant challenges, altering the trajectory of the brand. Since 1989, it had been under the ownership of the Hong Kong-based Stelux Group, which actively maintained its legacy. With this acquisition, Breitling aims to restore the iconic brand to its former glory, rooted in Swiss tradition yet poised for contemporary relevance.
Joseph Wong, Chairman and CEO of Stelux Group, expressed confidence in Breitling’s ability to elevate Universal Genève, drawing parallels with Breitling’s successful stewardship of its own marque. Wong emphasized the commitment to preserving the heritage of Universal Genève, ensuring that it not only lives on in name but also in spirit.
The connection between Breitling and Universal Genève runs deep, with both brands being leading specialists in chronographs. They were once rivals and allies in the pursuit of horological excellence. Now, they are set to coexist once more, maintaining their distinctiveness while honoring a shared history of ingenuity.
Georges Kern elaborated on the revival, calling it a dream turned into a vision. The process is one that Breitling approaches with the utmost respect and dedication, aiming to see Universal Genève restored to its rightful place in the world of watchmaking.
As the horological world eagerly anticipates this collaboration, Breitling’s bold move to breathe new life into Universal Genève represents not just a business decision but a commitment to preserving and celebrating the timeless artistry of Swiss watchmaking.
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