LVMH Buys High-End Swiss Clock Manufacturer L’Epée 1839


LVMH is buying the owner of L’Epée 1839, a Swiss manufacturer of high-end clocks, a niche timekeeping market that’s largely been bypassed by luxury conglomerates and shoppers.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE is acquiring Swiza SA, the owner of L’Epée, according to a statement Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition adds a small but prestigious brand to LVMH’s watchmaking division, which is headed by Frédéric Arnault, one of the children of chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault. Key LVMH watch brands include Tag Heuer, Hublot and Zenith.

L’Epée is among a handful of high-end clockmakers left in Switzerland. Although mechanical wristwatches experienced a revival during the pandemic era, expensive clockmakers have struggled to make significant inroads with wealthy consumers.

L’Epée has gained attention in recent years by teaming with well-known watchmakers for collaborations including Maximilian Büsser, the founder and creative director of Geneva-based MB&F. L’Epée and MB&F have produced more than a dozen mechanical creations including clocks shaped like giant spiders, robots and rockets, with some priced at more than $30,000 each.

By Angelina Rascouet and Andy Hoffman

Learn more:

Can Luxury Watch Brands Grow in 2024?

Higher-than-expected export figures fuelled hopes that the industry can avoid a downturn. At LVMH’s Watch Week gathering in Miami, the chief executives of Bulgari, TAG Heuer, and Hublot and Zenith spoke to BoF about adapting their strategies for an uncertain market.

Disclosure: LVMH is part of a group of investors who, together, hold a minority interest in The Business of Fashion. All investors have signed shareholders’ documentation guaranteeing BoF’s complete editorial independence.

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