Breitling has announced its acquisition of Universal Genève, marking a new chapter for the brand renowned for its horological artistry and innovation. This strategic move promises to restore the prestige of a hallowed name in the world of luxury timepieces.

“As excited as we are, we are also fully aware of the task at hand and the profound heritage we are set to uphold,” stated Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling. “Universal Genève was once hailed as the couturier of watchmaking, renowned for its in-house movements and mythical models. It is a brand that watch enthusiasts have dreamed of seeing make a permanent comeback,” said Alfred Gantner, Co-Founder of Partners Group and Chairman of the Breitling board. “Rebuilding a brand with such a rich narrative is not a quick endeavor—it is a meticulous labor of love that we anticipate will unfold over the coming years. A dedicated team will be brought on board to allow Breitling and Universal Genève to operate as separate maisons,” explained Georges Kern.

Founded in 1894, Universal Genève rose to prominence through the early to mid-20th century with their innovative designs and technical prowess. However, the advent of the quartz crisis significantly challenged the company, marking a shift in its trajectory. Since 1989, it had been owned by the Hong Kong based Stelux Group, which actively maintained its legacy. With this acquisition, Breitling aims to restore the storied brand to its former glory, grounded in Swiss tradition yet poised for contemporary relevance.

“We are convinced that Breitling is best positioned to take Universal Genève to the next level, as it has so successfully done with its own marque,” said Joseph Wong, Chairman and CEO of Stelux Group. “When stewarding a maison d’horlogerie of this stature, preserving its heritage is a topmost concern. The management at Breitling has demonstrated that it is 100 percent committed to ensuring that Universal Genève lives on, not just in name but in spirit.”

It is not the first time Universal Genève and Breitling have shared links. As the leading specialists in the chronograph, they were equal parts rivals and allies. Now, they are set to live side by side once more, maintaining their individuality while honoring a mutual history of ingenuity. “This revival is a dream turned into a vision,” Kern elaborated. “It’s a process we are embarking on with the utmost respect and dedication with the aim of seeing Universal Genève restored to its rightful place in watchmaking.”

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