Re: the Bucherer sale to Rolex, TTAW commentator SPQR writes… Rolex never buys anything to keep things at “arm’s length.” It buys things to integrate them into the Rolex monolith, like the purchase of Aegler. The acquisition of Bucherer probably means that Rolex will now run a “vertically integrated” retail business as well as a vertically integrated manufacure.
No doubt all Bucherer stores will be rebranded Rolex stores in the not too distant future. This creates a number of important problems for brands like OMEGA, Cartier, IWC, Breitling and so on – Rolex now has access to commercial information about their watch sales via Bucherer that it can use to its advantage and their detriment.
I cannot see Swatch Group, LVMH and Richemont being happy to continue to sell through Bucherer stores knowing that Rolex can access the sensitive financial information between manufacturer and retailer.
Rolex can also undermine their market position by heavily discounting Cartier and OMEGA etc. through Bucherer/Rolex stores. Apparently the Bucherer sale has been referred to the Swiss Monopolies and Competition Authority as a result.
In any event, Rolex probably do not want to sell watches like the Zenith Chronomaster Sport, OMEGA Seamaster Diver or Speedmaster Professional as these will tend to cannibalize sales of Daytonas and Submariners etc.
It’s interesting that the Carl F. Bucherer watch brand is included in the sale. This potentially means that Rolex now runs three watch brands, Rolex, Tudor and Carl F. Bucherer, which would allow it to bulk out the inventory when there is another confected “shortage” of Rolex watches.
ED: The Swatch Group “welcomes” the Bucherer sale. Watches of Switzerland not so much. Rolex accounts for as much as half of their sales. Will Rolex starve them to boost Bucherer? WOS’s stock tanked 28 percent this morning. Click here for Rolex’s press release about the buy.