Rolex Purchases Swiss Retailer Bucherer In A Move That's Stunned The Horological World
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Rolex Purchases Swiss Retailer Bucherer In A Move That's Stunned The Horological World

Rolex Purchases Swiss Retailer Bucherer In A Move That's Stunned The Horological World


And you thought summer was going out with a horological whimper! Grab your history books, Timelords. We may have just broken through into storied timekeeping history!

Rolex has recently announced the acquisition of the legendary luxury retailer, Bucherer. While we will cover everything in great depth in this article, it's important to note that this isn’t your general buying and selling, small chip style transactions that go on within businesses. 

Through Rolex acquiring such a prestigious retailer, a number of questions have been posed by this takeover:


  • Who is Bucherer?
  • What is the outcome of such a relationship?
  • Will we see more Rolex watches?
  • Will the pre-owned market be impacted?


Let’s leave the questions and get to the answers straight away. First things first…let’s sink our teeth into the details on Rolex buying Swiss retailer Bucherer. 


Who Is Bucherer?


They are one of the biggest luxury retailers globally. Enough said!

Source: Bloomberg

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Originally founded in 1888, the business was founded by Carl-Fredrich Bucherer, a merchant and entrepreneur. He opened the first specialist timepiece and jewellery shop in Lucerne, eventually expanding into the hugely successful business we see today.

Bucherer and Rolex are actually more intertwined than they may have let on, given the current shock at the acquisition. The sons of Carl-Friedrich and wife Luise joined the family business in the 1920’s and continued the pursuit of horological expansion. 

Named Ernst and Carl, Ernst started a connection with Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the horological brand in 1924. The Swiss powerhouse was accepted into their luxurious ranks and has remained an integral partner ever since. 

Throughout the difficulty of two World Wars and the Great Depression, they continued to expand throughout Switzerland, eventually moving into Austria and Germany. They took over the Kurz Group in 1989 and Swiss Lion AG in 2001 while a new company was founded in 2001. This later happened to be named Carl F. Bucherer.

In the modern era, they are still immensely popular. Celebrating 125 years in 2013, they opened their largest store in Paris and in 2016, they opened the largest jewellery store in Scandinavia. 

Just how big are they? Today they are the biggest timepiece and jewellery retailer in Europe with around 100 point of sales stores, including 30 in the United States. Boasting a vast array of brands from the beautiful Cartier and innovative Hublot to Tudor and IWC, they are in a continuous search for the best brands to add to their portfolio.

Of course, time and the goal posts have been surreptitiously moved in favour of Rolex. Both brands have now tied the knot, signifying a mini quake in the horological world where Rolex looks to go even further in house, taking control of the market. 


What Is The Outcome Of Such An Acquisition?


As mentioned, both brands are already close partners as Bucherer sells Rolex watches.

Hans Wilsdorf - Source - Rolex Magazine


In fact 53 of their stores sell Rolex watches and 48 distribute Tudor watches. In case you didn’t know. Tudor is the brainchild of the great horological brand as trademarked by Veuve de Philippe Hüther, under the careful eyes of…Hans Wilsdorf. 

Now the roles have been reversed. It’s no longer a case of Rolex appearing on the shelves of Bucherer’s shelves. Rather, it’s Bucherer that sells under the iconic crown, or should that be coronet!

Just how hard is it to decipher exactly what the future holds? Well, it’s almost impossible to put a timeframe on it. Nonetheless, this is primarily due to neither name releasing any terms of the deal, nor have they released any financial results… ever.

This means that while us and the rest of the horological world can speculate as much as who Tyson Fury’s next opponent is going to be, we are unsure as to what will exactly happen. What we do know however, is that the partnership will push them into the realms of formidable presence in the consumer sales world.

Rolex declared in a press release:

“Following the choice made by Jörg Bucherer, in the absence of direct descendants, to sell his company’s business, Rolex has decided to acquire the watch retailer, which was until now an independent entity. This move reflects the Geneva-based brand’s desire to perpetuate the success of Bucherer and preserve the close partnership ties that have linked both companies since 1924.

For more than 90 years, the two businesses have worked alongside one another and have each contributed to the other’s achievements and growth. Today, Rolex stands as one of the leaders of the Swiss luxury watchmaking sector. Bucherer has become an internationally renowned multi-brand retailer, with stores located in Switzerland, the United States, England, Germany, France, Denmark and Austria.

Bucherer accounts for more than 100 sales outlets worldwide, of which 53 distribute the Rolex brand and 48 distribute the Tudor brand. The watch retailer is also an official after-sales service centre for both brands. Its watch servicing workshops employ watchmakers who have been trained by the company itself and are highly qualified.

The Rolex group is convinced that this acquisition is the best solution not only for its own brands but also for all the watch and jewellery partner brands, as well as for all the employees of the Bucherer group”

Sounds like a profitable deal all around, right? This is especially the case given Rolex have made the claim that Bucherer will operate independently to the brand. How long this will last is a hot and prickly bone of contention. Besides, there are two words that we must be wary of at this initial stage…due diligence. 


Will We See More Rolex Watches?


Unfortunately, just because they have acquired a very important retailer, doesn’t mean we will see more models released. 

Datejust - Source - Reddit

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You keen horologists will know all about the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation and the codes that follow. The Trust outlines that no matter the amount of profit made by them, the funds have to be released to charities or to support the brand. 

Furthermore, the Swiss brand can only increase production by a small percent each year in order to keep the quality up and protect the brand and its reputation. Saturation of the market could be disastrous! So, don’t get your hopes up for a vast influx of luxury watches to flood the retail and secondary market suddenly.

That being said, maybe the linkup between the pair is perhaps a reckoning for Rolex’s tightlipped sales tactics. We may see more models leaking into the market, but as we, and the rest of the horological world aren’t privy to those closely kept secrets, the future is uncertain.


Will The Pre-Owned Market Be Impacted?


It’s been known for a while that Rolex watches are almost impossible to get your hands on. 

Federer debuting the 1908 - Source - The Inquisitr

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With various sites pertaining to wearing a suit when visiting retailers and racking up a huge purchase history in order to even be considered for the waitlist, we can see why you’d be so frustrated in regards to trying to buy a Rolex. In fact, due to annual spend on watches, you’d be looking to rack up at least £200,000 - £250,000 with the brand to get a sniff from authorised retailers that sell Rolex watches.

We are also sorry to say that the waitlists stem across the board for their watches. For The Sea-Dweller, you will be waiting for up to 18 months. For the highly revered Daytona, you will be waiting for up to five years and the Sky Dweller currently stands at around 8-24 months.

Now, after the recent news of the acquisition, they have put themselves in prime control of the biggest luxury retailer in Europe. We don’t want to be the harbinger of bad news, but chances are that they will be able to control everything regarding their products on Bucherer shelves, including wait times and the prices. 

So much so that whose to say they will push their own brand to the front of the shop floor leaving others such as Omega and Panerai flailing at the back? Mind you, they will still be taking around a certain amount of percentage concerning profits for other brands sold including their very own brainchild Tudor. Great timing you might think.

They could very easily develop from Bucherer’s strong consumer relationship, and start starving out some of the smaller authorised dealers. After all, they no longer need to look elsewhere for retail partnerships. They would inevitably have more control over their goods and be able to shape the market to whatever suits them. Smart business move? Perhaps. Where does that leave the consumer? You'll just have to stay tuned and come back.

Bucherer Store - Source - Financial Times

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What alternatives do you have? Well, how about a platform that’s as swift as it is supportive? Through Chrono Hunter, you can buy and sell the smart way with a quick turnaround…and without excessive waiting times. 

Benefit from our vast network of highly reputable luxury authorised retailers. Whether you want to buy a Rolex or sell a Rolex, we can source you the watch of your dreams. It’s up to you to compare offers and liaise with our selection of retailers directly. Our peerless service means we will be with you every step of the way until completion of the sale. 

With the option to buy both pre-owned and new watches, rest assured you will be transacting on the safest and most secure platform. From first time buyers to experienced collectors, we have a process that means everyone can buy and sell luxury watches while enjoying the most competitive prices reflecting current market conditions.

Thanks to our outstanding Trustpilot reviews, we have continued to provide five star excellence to all of our customers, and not leave you in the lurch of a never ending wait list or raw deal!


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That's all for now regarding the latest on Rolex’s acquisition of Bucherer! Fresh off the horological press they are not only taking control of the horological world, but the direct to consumer sales aspect too. Does this bode well for the consumers? Time will only tell. 

Bucherer has been family owned for a while, but due to there being no more direct descendants, the line has now ceased. This is a possible reason as to why Bucherer are so keen with the transaction as there will eventually be no family ties anyway

Bucherer has been a huge player in the retailer world, just like Rolex. Representing the first time that the two worlds of salesmanship and horology have come together, the excitement in Chrono Hunter’s HQ is simply off the charts! 

Think about the profit margins for example. Rolex will be able to make more profit if they are dealing directly with the customer, negating the cut of a middle man like Bucherer and other authorised retailers. Let’s hope it goes back into innovating the brand and not the pockets of the big boys!

With all the enthusiasm and thrills that are taking place, let's not forget that if you aren't in the mood for waiting for your desired timepiece, there are other avenues you can take to get the timepiece of your dreams. May we plug Chrono Hunter to you hungry horophiles?

We hope you now understand the importance of such a valuable acquisition and that our article has given you enough info to wax lyrical on.

Until the next merger or takeover, it’s time to wrap this up…for now.



Looking to buy a Rolex at the best possible price? Want to get a head start ahead of the acquisition? It’s definitely time to contact ChronoHunter here. Benefit from multiple offers from the most reputable and trusted luxury retailers and accept which one is right for you. 

Save money the smart way by utilising our dedicated app today or simply entering the details of the watch or watches you want to buy or sell via our online form. With peerless service, outstanding Trustpilot reviews and brand expertise like no other, we are your go-to source when you buy a watch or sell a watch.


Further Reading:

MarketWatch: How Much Can You Sell Your Rolex “Batman” 126710BLNR Through Chrono Hunter?

Chrono Hunter's Top Rolex Watches For Investment In 2023: The Essential Guide