Breitling bought Universal Geneve

Breitling bought Universal Geneve

Breitling has bought Universal Genève

Universal Genève was among the most historically important watchmaking houses in Switzerland, but was all-but wiped out by the quartz crisis. The brand was bought by Hong Kong based Stelux Group in 1989, and began rolling out new models in the mid-noughties.

However, while its vintage watches have been rising in popularity in recent years, modern day watches have found little traction outside of Asia.
Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling, suggests he is excited by the potential for Universal Genève while mindful of the responsibility.

To learn more about brands watches history, buy The Brands Guide here

breitling universal geneve

Breitling is the best choice to revitalize Universal Genève

“As excited as we are, we are also fully aware of the task at hand and the profound heritage we are set to uphold,” he admits.
Alfred Gantner, co-founder of Partners Group and chairman of the Breitling board adds: “Universal Genève was once hailed as the couturier of watchmaking, renowned for its in-house movements and mythical models. It is a brand that watch enthusiasts have dreamed of seeing make a permanent comeback.”

To learn more about brands watches history, buy The Brands Guide here

universal geneve

Mr Kern says rebuilding the brand will not be quick. “It is a meticulous labor of love that we anticipate will unfold over the coming years,” he describes.
Structurally, Mr Kern says a dedicated team will be brought on board to allow Breitling and Universal Genève to operate as separate maisons.

To learn more about watchmaking history, buy The Watch Manual here

Universal Genève was highly respected for its in-house chronograph movements, which were used by the likes Jaeger Le-Coultre, Girard Perregaux, Vacheron Constantin and Zenith.

universal geneve

Breitling convinced Stelux Group that it can restore the brand to its former glory.
“Breitling is best positioned to take Universal Genève to the next level, as it has so successfully done with its own marque,” says Joseph Wong, chairman and CEO of Stelux Group. “When stewarding a maison d’horlogerie of this stature, preserving its heritage is a topmost concern. The management at Breitling has demonstrated that it is 100 percent committed to ensuring that Universal Genève lives on, not just in name but in spirit.”


The Watchonomicon is an independent blog, written and managed by The Watch Manual. The Watch Manual is NOT affiliated in any way with any brand mentioned in articles.

To learn more about watchmaking history, buy The Watch Manual here

Back to blog