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Feature: Who Owns The Biggest Watch Brands?

What do the ice cream companies Wall’s, Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s have in common? Don’t worry, I’m not about to make some lame joke; the answer is that they are owned by the same company: Unilever. It’s not just the frozen dairy business that this is limited to either. A lot of your favourite watch brands are also owned by groups like this. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at who exactly owns our favourite watch brands.

Swatch Group

Swatch is the largest watchmaking group in the world and was founded in 1983 after a merger of ASUAG— Allgemeine Schweizerische Uhrenindustrie AG—and the SIHH—Société Suisse pour l'Industrie Horlogère—was made to save the Swiss watch industry from the quartz crisis. The Swatch Group are famous for owning Omega and Longines, but here is a list of all the watch brands they own:

Breguet

Harry Winston

Blancpain

Glashütte Original

Jaquet Droz

Omega

Longines

Rado

Union Glashütte

Tissot

Certina

Mido

Hamilton

Swatch

Flik Flak

ETA

Richemont

Richemont was founded in 1988 by Johann Rupert. It has since acquired a rich portfolio of companies ranging from jewellery to firearms, leather goods to watches—it even bought a certain Pre-Owned Watch Specialist back in 2018. In terms of watch brands, here is what Richemont own:

IWC

A. Lange & Söhne

Baume & Mercier

Jaeger-LeCoultre

Panerai

Piaget

Roger Dubuis

Vacheron Constantin

Cartier

Van Cleef & Arpels

Montblanc

Watchfinder

LVMH

LVMH or Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton—I’m not 100% sure why it’s backwards either—was founded in 1987. It’s an enormous company that owns icons like Tiffany & Co.— Moët, Hennessy, and Louis Vuitton, obviously—and a few of watchmaking’s biggest names, including:

TAG Heuer

Zenith

Bulgari

Hublot

A Few Honourable Mentions

Kering - Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux.

Citizen Watch – Bulova, Arnold & Son, Frederique Constant and Alpina.

Fossil – Zodiac.

Citychamp - Eterna and Corum.

At this point in the article, you might be wondering where the likes of Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, H. Moser, F.P. Journe, Rolex and Seiko are. All these brands have remained independent.