Kering should buy rest of Christophe Claret and save Ulysse-Nardin/Girard Perregaux in the process.

watchmaking rocks
The late Rolf W. Schnyder made Christophe Claret to what the company was at it’s greatest. And, CC was just a bi-product in RWS’s process of growing Ulysse Nardin from two employees to three hundred. The RWS era Ulysse Nardin produced watches that were interesting enough to do their own publicity. UN had a “story” twenty years before it got hip and no need for sponsoring.
At the helm of Girard Perregaux was another passionate and visionary man, Luigi Macaluso. In his case, though, it was rather a steering wheel. Late Mr. Macaluso was a proper petrolhead. The tourbillon with the three golden bridges, brought down to wrist watch size, is a masterpiece.
UN and GP were prototypes of a “small giant” company. Somehow these two patrons managed to maintain the feeling of a family even in factories that employed hundreds. They lined Christophe Claret’s pockets with money… and their own companies promptly lost their mojo once they had lost their inimitable bosses.
Never mind the weird and frankly rather silly CC complications of late, the watchmaking is there and the finishing is nice and traditional. Kering needs to flex their muscle one more time and finish what they started in UN and GP. Like Swatch Group with Breguet, Richemont with Roger Dubuis, Kering needs to buy Christophe Claret and bring their best watchmaking under one roof in Le Locle. Find the mojo, make some nice watches, again, and maybe sell a few to third parties… like Bovet and Jaquet Droz. If nothing else, the people who already bought GP and UN watches for millions, with Christophe Claret movements in them, deserve to be safe in the knowledge that there will be spare parts in stock to service their watches for years to come.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-dubuis-m-a-richemont-idUSKCN0V01EI

6 Comments

  • Avatar yammstein says:

    … Lo and behold. Which product brought the widest smiles on the faces in the UN and Claret stands of Baselworld 2016 ? The “Grand Deck”, another joint venture between these two companies. A watch that is assembled by a real watchmaker at a bench. Not a, half man half robot, churning away in an Orwellian laboratory.

  • Avatar yammstein says:

    Rumor has it that something is bubbling under the covers of luxury watch-making. Rightly so. This is not a $700.000.000 bubble of hot air.

  • Avatar yammstein says:

    The aftermath of SIHH 2017 saw another seven people fired from CC. The company is now half the size of its heyday. Feel suicidal? You can now buy into the company for 3M plus some 5M in debts… and own… wait for it… 30%. But, why on earth would you do that?

  • Avatar Marco says:

    …this is a never-ending saga. But now, in February 2020, CC’s company is apparently properly properly fucked. A few million in debts and a couple of months of salaries unpaid. One wonders what language is spoken in the direction of the company in the near future? Chinese?

  • Avatar Marco says:

    UN and GP just fired a third (over one hundred people) of their staff. Times have been hard since Kering bought these companies but they seem to be particularly bad at running watch factories, too. In fact, the demise of all these companies, Claret included, is beyond sad and eventually boring. Time to say “finished” to this post.

  • Avatar Marco says:

    …can’t help myself from dwelling in the latest developments around these three companies. They play too big a part in my professional life. Basically they are, all three, ran into the ground, employing less people than twenty five years ago. Claret employs four watchmakers. Rumor has it you can by UN and GP for one symbolic Swiss franc. So it Goes…

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