Chanel invests in F.P. Journe watches
Chanel has added a new feather to its cap by taking up a minority stake in the luxury watch band F.P. Journe. The luxury group, owned by the Wertheimer brothers, has acquired a 20 percent stake in one of the most exclusive brands in the world, the watch brand confirmed to FashionNetwork.com.
The value of the transaction has not been disclosed. In a statement, Chanel explained that the aim was to “strengthen its position as a player in prestige watchmaking.” This is not the first time that the brand has invested in the watchmaking sector as it also picked up stakes in Bell & Ross in 1998 and in Romain Gauthier in 2011.
Chanel has invested in a number of specialists in various luxury crafts over the years, the most recent being the Spanish tannery Colomer Leather. The brand stated that its latest investment shows “the desire to preserve and develop know-how and to support independent watchmakers that share the same values of design and excellence as Chanel.”
Franҫois-Paul Journe has been passionate about watchmaking since childhood and is both a watchmaker and restoration expert who has established himself as one of the most respected specialists in luxury watchmaking. Journe’s brand makes no more than 900 watches a year. “We are the only brand in the world to make the internal moving pieces in 18-carat rose gold,” explained Journe. The brand’s watches retail from 21,000 Swiss Francs for introductory models to 760,000 Swiss Francs for its famous model “Sonnerie Souveraine”.
Born in Marseille in 1957, Journe, who has since made Paris his home, worked for a number of well-known collectors and brands before launching his own label in 1999 and setting up a factory in Geneva where the entire design and production process takes place. Journe explained in a letter to his staff that, by selling a stake in the brand to Chanel, he wanted to ensure the sustainability of the brand.
“Today, with no certainty that my children will continue my work, I have decided to guarantee the future of my business by choosing to bring in Chanel with a 20 percent stake. This choice was carefully considered and stems from a long friendship with and deep respect for the owners of this great French institution. We share the same values of knowledge and excellence and a common vision for the future,” said Journe.
Chanel made its watchmaking debut in 1987, striving for luxury in the sector from the very beginning. The business set up a watch design studio in the Place Vendôme in Paris, while watch production takes place at the G&F Châtelain in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, which was acquired by the group in 1993.
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