Here are the biggest watch groups that deserve your special attention:
SWATCH GROUP (Switzerland):
Balmain, Blancpain, Breguet, Calvin Klein, Certina, Endura, Flik Flak, Glashütte Original, Hamilton, Harry Winston, Jaquet Droz, Léon Hatot, Longines, Mido, Omega, Rado, Swatch, Swiss Timing, Tissot, Union Glashütte.
The Swatch Group, headquartered in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, is the world's largest watchmaker - and it’s no wonder, as all the brands mentioned above fall under its umbrella. The publicly listed corporation now owns 20 watch brands which range drastically in price; Breguet is the most costly of the lot, while Omega is the most profitable and the third-largest Swiss watch brand.
Because of the numerous manufacturers it controls, the Swatch Group is the dominant player in the Swiss watch industry, if not around the world. The Swatch Group is by far the leading provider of watch movements to the Swiss industry thanks to ETA, its movement production subsidiary. It also owns Nivarox-FAR, the leading hairspring provider.
In 2013, the Swatch Group made a significant acquisition by purchasing jeweller Harry Winston. Not only does the acquisition now provide the Swatch Group with more pieces of the pie in the jewellery sector, but also with wider access to the global diamond market.
RICHEMONT GROUP (Switzerland)
A. Lange & Söhne, Azzedine Alaïa, Baume & Mercier, Buccellati, Cartier, Chloé, Dunhill, IWC Schaffhausen, Giampiero Bodino, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Officine Panerai, Piaget, Peter Millar, Purdey, Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin and Van Cleef & Arpels.
Compagnie Financière Richemont SA is a public firm headquartered in Geneva and a leading player across a range of luxury products. Although it markets 17 brands from different industries, in terms of sales, Richemont is predominantly a luxury watch group.
Richemont's brands are segmented in certain clusters. A. Lange & Söhne, Baume & Mercier, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Officine Panerai, Piaget, Ralph Lauren, Roger Dubuis, and Vacheron Constantin are all part of the Specialist Watchmakers section, while Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels are the Jewellery Maisons. Cartier is the largest brand in Richemont's portfolio and the world's second largest watch brand after Rolex.
LVMH GROUP (France)
TAG Heuer, Bulgari, Hublot, Zenith, Dior, Fred, Chaumet, Louis Vuitton
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA is the world's largest luxury goods conglomerate, managing 75 prestigious brands. From booze, cosmetics and fashion to watches and jewellery, this publicly listed corporation from Paris has been expanding its watch sector for the last 15 years. Its most recent watch brand purchase was Bulgari in 2012, while TAG Heuer remains one of the best-selling Swiss and LVMH brands.
KERING GROUP (France)
Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard, Gucci, Boucheron, Qeelin, Bottega Veneta
Paris-based fashion and retail group Kering, formerly known as PPR, has gradually built its watch business over recent years. In 2012, it acquired the Sowind Group, which included Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard. For Kering, Sowind manufactures Swiss mechanical movements initially featured in Gucci watches. Kering made another important acquisition when it purchased Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin - one of the most popular luxury watch brands known to the general public.
SEIKO GROUP (Japan)
Seiko, Grand Seiko, Credor, Pulsar, Lorus, Alba, Orient
The Seiko Group is a huge, publicly traded business that manufactures a wide range of products, made up of Seiko Epson and Seiko Holdings. Seiko Holdings owns the watch company Seiko Watch Corporation, while Seiko Epson - the parent company of Orient Watch Co., Ltd. - manufactures assorted components for these very watches. Seiko produces all the components needed for both mechanical and quartz timepieces and, while it is best known for its Seiko brand of watches, the firm also produces high-end mechanicals under the Grand Seiko brand and a number of other products under its other brands. As of Baselworld 2017, Seiko and Grand Seiko have been separate, independent brands.
FOSSIL GROUP (USA)
Fossil, Relic, Michele, Zodiac, Skagen, Diesel, DKNY, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Emporio Armani, Emporio Armani Swiss Made, Armani Exchange, Karl Lagerfeld
Fossil Group, Inc. is a publicly traded corporation headquartered in Richardson, Texas. Fossil manufactures timepieces using its own and licensed brand names. Skagen, bought in 2012, was their most recent acquisition. While the majority of the Fossil Group's movements are Japanese quartz, the company has recently expanded into the Swiss-made market with the introduction of Fossil Swiss, a line of Fossil watches with quartz and mechanical movements produced by the group's subsidiaries in Canton Ticino, Switzerland. In 2014, the firm launched a Swiss-made range for the Emporio Armani trademark, and it has also debuted a licensed watch line named after fashion designer Tory Burch.
MOVADO GROUP (USA)
Ebel, Concord, Movado, Olivia Burton, MVMT, Coach, Ferrari, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste.
Movado Group International, headquartered in Paramus, New Jersey, is a global leader in cheap luxury and fashion-watch brands. MGI boasts two higher-priced Swiss luxury watch manufacturers, Concord and Ebel, in addition to its star brand, Movado. Almost half of the revenue generated by this publicly listed company comes from its six licensed brands, a market that MGI has been expanding since the late 1990s.
CITIZEN GROUP (Japan)
Citizen Watch Company of America, Campanola, Arnold & Son, Bulova, Bulova Accutron II, Bulova AccuSwiss, Bulova Clocks, Vagary watches, Alpina, Ateliers de Monaco, La Joux-Perret, Frédérique Constant
Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. is a large corporation that primarily sells watches, machine tools, components, and electronics. In addition to completed timepieces, Citizen is a significant provider of quartz movements created by its movement-manufacturing business, Miyota. Citizen purchased American firm Bulova Corp. in 2008, before expanding into Swiss manufacturing in 2012, when it acquired movement manufacturer Manufacture La Joux-Perret and its Arnold & Son brand. In May 2016, the company purchased Switzerland's Frédérique Constant Holding SA and its three watch brands — Frédérique Constant, Alpina, and the minuscule Ateliers deMonaco.
TIMEX GROUP (USA)
Timex, Nautica, Guess, GC, Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace, Versus, Ted Baker, Missoni, Furla
Best known for its famous mass-market brand Timex, the Connecticut-based Timex Group of Middlebury also makes seven brands under licence agreements, including three — Ferragamo, Versace, and Furla — in the luxury segment.
FRANCK MULLER GROUP (Switzerland)
Franck Muller, Pierre Kunz, European Company Watch, Rodolphe, Martin Braun, Barthelay, Backes & Strauss, Pierre Michael Golay, Smalto Timepieces, Roberto Cavalli
Franck Muller Genève is a Swiss luxury group headquartered in the village of Genthod, west of Geneva. Aside from the original Franck Muller brand, the majority of the group's holdings have been purchased over the past decade or so. The eponymous Franck Muller brand is the group's celebrity and best-seller.
BINDA GROUP (Italy)
Breil Milano, Breil Tribe, Wyler Genève and Details, D&G Time and Jewels, Moschino CheapandChic Watches and Jewels, Ducati and Ducati Corse Watches
Binda is a watch and jewellery company that specialises in stylish brands. Breil, Freestyle, and Hip Hop are all owned by the group, which is based in Milan. The company acquired the Geneva Watch Group in 2008, giving it access to a wide number of licensed brands.
CITYCHAMP GROUP (Hong Kong)
Corum, Eterna, Ebohr, Rossini, Codex, Rotary, Dreyfuss & Co., J&T Windmills
Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group Limited, formerly known as China Haidian, has lately emerged as a major player in the global watch industry. With its brands Rossini and Ebohr, the Hong Kong-based corporation has a considerable presence in the Chinese market. In recent years, however, it has begun purchasing foreign brands as well. These include Swiss labels Corum, which Citychamp bought in 2013, and Eterna, which it acquired in 2011.
FESTINA GROUP (Spain)
Perrelet, L.Leroy, Candino, Festina, Lotus, Jaguar*, Calypso*
Miguel Rodriguez owns the Festina Group, a private firm located in Barcelona, which boasts Festina and Perrelet as two of its most important and profitable brands. Focusing on the moderate price category, with two exceptions — Perrelet and L.Leroy — Festina Group also owns Soprod, which manufactures movements for a variety of Swiss brands, and MHVJ, a manufacturer of high-horology complications.