Monday, November 21, 2016


and the theory that they may, or may not be for sale has finally caught the attention of the more mainstream media, so now I will weigh in on what I think is next for Théodore Schneider's brand.

For the past two years, the word around the campfire was that Breitling was "sprucing itself up" for a possible sale.  Well, Switzerland's Cash online has sort of danced around the issue without really saying anything -

But let me posit a theory -
There would really be no reason for any of the big groups to make an offer.  SWATCH is stacked, LVMH is asserting that all is well, and truth be told I do not think that Breitling would really add to their portfolio.  Kering has proven one thing very, very clearly - they have absolutely no idea how the watch business works.  And Richemont, unless they are playing a truly epic game of chicken with Unia, are more likely to shed a brand or two rather than pick one up.

That leaves City Champ (Eterna, Corum) or the ever growing and evolving Citizen (Citizen, Arnold & Son, Frederique Constant and Alpina).  

And this is where I'd put my money on Citizen and I'll tell you why -

1.  City Champ, by all accounts, has plenty of money.  With Eterna they have a brand with TONS of potential, but that potential has not been realized as Eterna has been mishandled and mismanaged.  They have everything that they need to succeed except a seasoned, savvy, swashbuckling captain at the helm - picture Errol Flynn with a manufacturing and mechanical background.  Someone who can identify the problems, take steps to correct them, and be a leader, not an ego.  So I think that they will be focusing on putting Eterna in dry dock, cutting away the rot, patching the hull, selecting the crew and setting sail again.

2.  Citizen has proven that sexy is not always the answer.  Most people never saw the FC/Alpina acquisition coming.  So don't be surprised if it was Citizen coming in.  Breitling has the technology to make beautiful chronograph movements.  So it stands to reason that this could be a very logical, rational acquisition.  And if I were a betting man, this is where I'd place my marker.

Now keep in mind that, as I said, several of us have been talking about a possible Breitling sale for some time, and it might be that there is an oil-drunk sheikh out there in need of a hobby making all other theories irrelevant.

So as always, we shall wait and we shall see.

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