Citizen acquires Frédérique Constant: the rising sun buys a rising star
The Genevan based independent maison with Dutch roots, Frédérique Constant, is now a Genevan based brand of the Citizen Watch Co. The sporty brand Alpina and the high-end and very limited creations of Ateliers DeMonaco are also in Japanese hands now.
Frédérique Constant Holding was founded in 1988 by Peter and Aletta Stas. The company produces traditional timepieces at an affordable price level and became very successful with that strategy. Alpina sailed the same course with sports and pilot’s watches. In a press release Citizen says it “will be able to augment its portfolio of brands and occupy the space in the markets where some of our competitors operate and further expand the presence of the Citizen brand in the market.” This translates into: by acquiring competitively priced Swiss watch brands, Citizen prepares to do battle with other competitively priced Swiss watch brands like Longines, Hamilton, and Baume & Mercier. And if they succeed in this ambition why wouldn’t they reach higher and even try to give the likes of TAG Heuer, Montblanc and Tudor a run for their money?
Citizen strengthens position
Citizen already owns Bulova as well as Swiss movement manufacturer La Joux-Perret SA that includes both Angelus and Arnold & Son; high-end niche brands that produce haute horlogerie. The acquisition of Frédérique Constant helps Citizen strengthen their position in the Swiss watch industry. It instantly gives them a remarkable piece of the highly competitive 2000- to 7000-euro price segment that is largely dominated by the brands mentioned above. The fact that Frédérique Constant has been has been heavily investing into becoming a fully independent manufacture must have been an important aspect for Citizen. By developing and manufacturing in-house movements Frédérique Constant/Alpina moved away from ETA/Swatch Group troubles. Citizen now fully profits from that strategy of independence. No terms were disclosed of the deal, but we will stay on this case to get you all relevant background information.