It’s official: Swatch Group owns Harry Winston
When you think of luxury precious jewels with crazy over the top prices, you think of Harry Winston. Harry Winston was an American Jeweler. He donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958 after owning it for a decade, and traded the Portuguese Diamond to the Smithsonian in 1963.
Harry Winston Jewels are a symbol of opulence, wealth, luxury, exclusivity and embody an international lifestyle that only the elite can afford. Up till about 8 weeks ago, the Harry Winston Diamond Corporation operated eight boutiques in the U.S., New York, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Dallas, Honolulu, Bal Harbour, Chicago and Costa Mesa, and seventeen boutiques worldwide.
As of today, luxury power house, The Swatch Group owns Harry Winston outright, except for their mining facilities in Canada. The global economy has taken a serious beating over the last five years and the Swatch Group is one of the few cash rich companies in the watch industry generating over 8 billion dollars in revenue in 2012 with a profit of nearly 2 billion dollars, which puts them in a position of power. The Swatch Group very intelligently struck a deal and bought Harry Winston for a billion dollars which is a bargain. I am sure if the economy was much stronger this would have cost them 10 times that, which just shows you cash is king. Currently the Swatch Group has nearly 30,000 employees worldwide.
This is a huge victory for the Swatch Group because they are the kings of taking prestigious brands with heritage and pumping life, energy and reviving them far beyond what you could ever imagine. When you look at their Tourbillon Boutiques all over the world, its amazing what they have created. They give priority to their in-house boutiques with product by delivering 6 months to a year a head of time and then their retailers world-wide will follow. By doing this, the Swatch Group controls distribution, price and remains exclusive.
Harry Winston watches will be interesting under the new Swatch Group umbrella because in the past Harry Winston have commissioned very well-respected and genius watch makers to make their Opus line of watches. I am sure Swatch Group will take this to a whole new level. The acquisition of Harry Winston makes Swatch Group much more powerful and creates many more opportunities for the group to expand their portfolio and not just own the luxury watch market but dominate the luxury jewelry market.