Apr 29, 2017

Breitling Watch Co. Sold

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolbesler/2017/04/28/breitling-acquired-by-cvc-capital-partners/#5fcbed3860a2
Some of you probably read this already. I hope it's good for the company, as I harbor a deep love and respect for some of their pieces, with particular affinity for the SuperOcean line and vintage Chronos.
Cheers all
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i wish i could afford an aviator..........some darn beautiful watches.

This might sound silly but I'm new to this community & watches in general so please forgive my ignorance.

Why is breitling's independance a big deal? (or is it?)
I understand that they are one of the last ones but would the acquisition from a bigger group necessarily make them bad?
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Nofitan
Just to add to Stainless's answer: there are examples of bad watch brand sales. Invicta is the most glaring example, and now that Invicta has bought up Glycine there are signs that they will take a similar bad design and poor CS path. I for one am relieved Breitling did not wind up in that organization.
BF_Hammer
Most of the sound and fury about the Glycine-Invicta sale has turned out to be untrue rumors, hasn't it? Various changes that were in the pipeline pre-sale were implemented on schedule. The only concrete thing that Invicta announced is that Glycine would focus on its main watch lines. Glycine had been getting distracted with stuff like attempts at dress watches, which, yeah, they did way back, but hadn't done in recent decades, and were never that distinct. So put the Invicta rape of Glycine into the "fake but true" category at best, but the totally fake category is more likely.

More interesting is the dissolution in March of the Orient company by Seiko, making it simply a brand sold by Seiko. We'll see how that turns out. Orient has from time to time released wacky stuff out of left field, but those days may be over.

Orient was a true independent company before Seiko-Epson bought them. Many of the Swiss companies are family owned. Those kind of companies are never long for this world. A family member dies, his stock is redistributed, and the other members need cash to pay estate taxes. Or younger family members just want to go into other businesses. Or don't want to work with family members who they don't like or get along with. Or there is genetic regression to the mean in the ability to run a business, with the talent of the founder slowly being attenuated. over the generations. A lot of Japanese traditional businesses have this problem, and it there are ways to deal with it, often involving a daughter marrying a bright young guy who wants to take over and rustles up some capital. With Swiss watch companies there is the "entrepreneurial Italian watch enthusiast" gambit, bringing in a successful foreign businessman who appreciates the product more than the family itself or other Swiss do. Actually, I think one of the Glashutte companies in Germany, Nomos?, was revived by the family's bringing in an outsider manager, a German in that case. This is also a pattern in the German piano business, another cluster of family-owned businesses in a declining but storied industry.
Who's CVC and what expertise will they bring to the brand?
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They’re trying to recover their money buying Glycine.
Oh, yikes, it's a private equity company? On the plus side, they don't care about the content of the business. On the big minus side, they will "rationalize" the business to make it more profitable so they can unload it at a higher price. Maybe there is genuine fat there to be cut. On the other hand, they might want to add "more China" to Breitling's business.
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