Rolex today announced today that it acquires Bucherer, one of the largest luxury watch retailers worldwide and a partner of the brand since 1924. According to the press release, the Swiss jewelry house with headquarters in Lucerne will continue to operate independently and maintain its name. However, the final integration into the Rolex group awaits the approval of competition authorities.
The third-generation family owned business has been managed by Jörg G. Bucherer since 1977. Under his leadership, it was expanded to the Austrian and German markets in the 1980s and 1990s and subsequently other European countries. With the acquisition of the American luxury retailer Tourneau and its 28 stores in 2018, the company also established itself successfully in the United States. In total, Bucherer today boasts more than 100 retail stores worldwide – of which many already carry the collections of Rolex and sister brand Tudor.
According to the announcement, Rolex’s decision to merge comes as a response to Jörg Bucherer’s choice to sell his company’s business due to the absence of direct descendants.
“Following Jörg Bucherer’s decision to sell his business in the absence of direct descendants, Rolex has decided to acquire the previously independent watch retailer. With this acquisition, the Geneva-based watch brand intends to continue Bucherer’s success as well as the close partnership that has existed between the two companies since 1924. For more than 90 years, both businesses have been partners and contributed to each other’s success and growth,” according to the press release.
It further states that, “The Rolex Group is convinced that this acquisition is the best solution both for its own brands and for the entire watch and jewelry portfolio of the other partner brands, as well as for the employees of the Bucherer Group.”
After 135 years of family ownership, this marks the end of an era. The cornerstone of the family business was laid as early as 1888, when the merchant and entrepreneur Carl-Friedrich Bucherer and his wife Luise opened the first watch and jewelry store in Lucerne, Switzerland. According to Rolex, Jörg Bucherer is the last businessman to have personally known and worked with Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf. He remains honorary president of the Bucherer Group.