Luxury French watchmaker Pequignet has been placed into liquidation by the Commercial Court in its home town of Besançon.
In a statement from the brand circulated yesterday (November 30), it said that a sharp deterioration in the watchmaking market led to its downfall, and efforts to hold on while a buyer was found had so far failed.
The court did grant a three month reprieve for Pequignet, which will allow it to continue trading through to 22 February while it continues to search for a new owner.
Pequignet was created by Emile Pequignet in 1973. It was taken over in 2004 by Didier Leibundgut who committed to creating in house movements, a mission he achieved in 2010.
The Swiss watch industry has been shrinking for the past three years. It peaked in 2014 with exports worth CHF 22.25 billion. Figures from the Federation of Swiss Watchmakers suggest that 2016 exports will total CHF 20 billion.
Pequignet points to the fact that sales have been falling for 15 months in a row, but concedes that disputes resulting from the takeover by Mr Leibundgut contributed to its difficulties.
“Unfortunately, many disputes prior to the takeover combined with the 15th month of decline in sales on the world market of watchmaking do not make it possible to restore equilibrium,” the company said in a statement translated from French to English.