Over more than a century, three generations of Bucherers built one of the most exclusive watch and jewelry retailers in the world, selling expensive time pieces and glittering gems to the global rich and famous.
Now, the secretive 87-year-old Swiss billionaire behind the eponymous luxury boutiques — Chairman Jörg G. Bucherer — has agreed to sell Bucherer AG to Rolex in a move that has stunned the world of high-end watch retailing.
The companies didn’t disclose the terms of their deal and arriving at an estimate isn’t easy since neither Switzerland-based firm publishes financial results.
Jean-Philippe Bertschy, an analyst with Vontobel Holding AG, put annual sales at Bucherer’s more than 100 stores at about 2 billion Swiss francs ($2.3 billion), giving the firm an enterprise value of as much as 4 billion Swiss francs. He estimated Bucherer accounts for about 5% of Rolex’s sales.
The octogenarian Bucherer’s decision to dispose of the closely held family business took the industry by surprise partly because of the intense secrecy surrounding himself and the two watchmakers, whose histories have been closely entwined for decades. In a statement about the agreement, R