Industry News: Rolex Acquires Bucherer

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.

Carl F. Bucherer boutique in New York

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.”

Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf

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.

To learn more, visit Rolex, here, and Bucherer, here.

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  1. Gerry Dimatos

    As a long time Rolex advocate I don’t even think Rolex is in the retail game anymore….
    They are still a superb product but their distribution to actual real customers is a shambles….
    It’s been years now and still not much for sale at a retail level with no end in site…..
    So back to the topic of retail and Bucherer why more retail via Bucherer when you’re not in that game anymore ?

  2. As was said, only Rolex really knows why this transaction was completed, but we can speculate. One could say that keeping a strong Swiss owned brand within Swiss ownership is a factor. Having certainty of one of the largest luxury, and Rolex, watch retailers is vitally important to Rolex, as they reposition the brand up market. How long they stay in the retail watch business is anybody’s guess.

  3. Gerry Dimatos

    Rolex’s logic is only known to those at Rolex. I myself see no synergy here at all as Bucherer stores sell many brands including Rolex. If the plan is to have more distribution of Rolex watches it already has this as Bucherer already sells Rolex…
    I guess we’ll all find out the reason for the decision soon enough…

  4. Humberto Pacheco

    After decades of dealing with Bucherer, I feel a little nostalgic.

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