American watch business Invicta Watch Group has confirmed the acquisition of Glycine, a 100 year old Swiss maker best known for its Airman range of pilot watches.
The group now has a stable of four watch brands: Invicta, S.Coifman, Technomarine and Glycine.
Glycine has a toehold in the UK, with online retailer Watchshop offering the brand, along with a handful of independents including CW Sellors in Ashbourne in Derbyshire and Ogden of Harrogate.
Invicta operates through branded stores and a network of retailers in the United States, but has no presence in the UK. Technomarine and S.Coifman, the group’s other two brands, are also absent from the UK.
Invicta announced the acquisition of Glycine on its Facebook page, but provided little detail. “We are pleased to welcome Glycine into the Invicta family of brands. Established in 1914 and still based in Switzerland, we look forward to continuing the rich brand heritage of crafting fine, Swiss-made timepieces,” the Facebook message said.
Glycine’s CEO, Stephan Lack, is delighted with the deal, which he feels gives Invicta Group the scale and breadth of brands to expand. “Invicta definitely bought a gem with a great history and a very nice collection,” he told WatchPro.
“If Invicta Group is able to optimise marketing and distribution, Glycine will be a very sustainable deal,” he added.
Glycine’s existing retail partners are being promised continuity. “Glycine Watch SA stays an autonomous Swiss company with own distribution,” said Mr Lack.
The global reach of Invicta Group, particularly in the Americas, made the deal particularly attractive to Glycine. “Invicta Group is financially strong, core competence 100% in the watch business, family company, strong in marketing and sales, especially in the very potential US market. Glycine will profit from the marketing services know how (particularly social media) and the distribution power in the American and South-American market,” predicted Mr Lack.
He also suggested that Glycine, the only watch brand in the Invicta Group portfolio with a retail network in the UK, could help its stablemates expand this side of the Atlantic.