Speidel Acquired in Management Buyout

Speidel Inc., the leading distributor of watchband attachments worldwide, announced Dec. 19 that company president Jeffrey R. Massotti had purchased both Speidel Inc. and Providence Watch Hospital from Austria-based Hirsch Armbaender AG. The purchase was made by Massotti’s holding company, JRM Holding Inc. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The company will continue to focus on its multi-level channels of distribution, with the independent jewelry trade the dominant focus, said a company statement. Speidel’s wholly owned sales team is one of the largest calling on independent jewelers. The sales force will continue to represent both Speidel and Hirsch Brands throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

“This transaction will now put the worldwide rights and control of the Speidel brand name and trademarks back on U.S. soil,” Massotti said, noting that the company would remain in East Providence, R.I. Speidel and Providence Watch Hospital, with locations in Cranston, Providence, and Wakefield, R.I., together employ approximately 150 people.

Speidel Inc. and Providence Watch Hospital, headquartered in Providence, began in 1904 and 1940, respectively. Speidel is the leading worldwide distributor of watchbands and also markets multi-product lines such as watches, jewelry, lighters, and accessories. Providence Watch Hospital is a major service center for watch and jewelry repair.

Hirsch Armbaender AG acquired Speidel from Textron Corp. in December 1997. Massotti was named president of Speidel in fall 2000 and was responsible for Speidel’s acquisition of Providence Watch Hospital in July 2001.