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Swatch adds German brand to expanding luxury range

Swatch is increasing its share of the luxury watch market

(Keystone)

Switzerland's Swatch Group, the world's largest watchmaker, is continuing to expand, adding German luxury watch manufacturer, Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb, to its existing stable of top-end watch brands.

The company said in a statement that the purchase "will enhance the existing prestige and luxury segment of the Swatch Group". Spokeswoman Béatrice Howald added, "Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb produces fewer than 10,000 time pieces per year".

Glashütter joins Swatch's impressive range of luxury brands, including Breguet, Blancpain, Jaquet-Droz, Omega, Longines, Rado and Swatch, as well as the new jewellery watch brand, Léon Hatot.

Swatch refused to disclose the price of the transaction. Howald would only say it was "comparable to that paid in 1992 to buy Blancpain", for which Swatch forked out between SFr60-SFr80 million ($35-$45 million).

Glashütter Uhrenbetrieb is based near Dresden and employs over 150 staff. Swatch said the company would remain at its current location, and staff levels would be maintained.

Swatch, which is has its headquarters in Biel, has more than 150 production centres around the world.

swissinfo with agencies


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