Breitling AG, the watchmaker bought out by private equity in 2017, jumped into the list of top 10 Swiss brands as sales surged under CEO Georges Kern.
(Bloomberg) — Breitling AG, the watchmaker bought out by private equity in 2017, jumped into the list of top 10 Swiss brands as sales surged under CEO Georges Kern.
The Grenchen, Switzerland-based company is the ninth biggest, according to estimates by Morgan Stanley and LuxeConsult, in a report published Tuesday.
Best known for its pilot-themed watches including the Navitimer chronometer, Breitling’s sales rose to 860 million Swiss francs ($938 million) in 2022, according to estimates in the report.
The climb into the top 10 caps a turnaround effort led by Kern, a former Richemont executive, who focused on fewer models and streamlined distribution.
Partners Group Holding AG bought majority control of Breitling from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, valuing it at about 4.2 billion Swiss francs, Bloomberg News reported in December.
Breitling has flourished with strong sales in the US, which is driving an unprecedented boom in demand for luxury Swiss watches, the report said.
Rolex SA remained the dominant Swiss brand with sales of 9.3 billion francs and a 29% market share, the report said. Richemont’s Cartier was second with sales of 2.75 billion francs while Swatch Group’s Omega came was third with 2.45 billion in sales.
Swiss watch brands have been moving upscale, producing fewer watches that sell for higher prices. The report ranked Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Richard Mille as the next biggest.
The runaway success of the SwatchXOmega MoonSwatch collaboration vaulted Swatch to the fastest growing brand position with sales rising 90% in 2022.
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.