Bulova Corp., the well-known 126-year-old U.S. brand, has bought the Wittnauer watch trademarks and related inventory from Wittnauer International for about $11.6 million. The announcement was made Sept. 5.
As reported by JCK last month, Wittnauer International, the 116-year-old U.S. watch company in New Rochelle, N.Y., was looking for a buyer of its assets for reasons of debt and was in talks with a major watch brand. According to a document sent to its creditors this summer, Wittnauer’s operators determined this year that it “cannot continue in business with its current level of outstanding trade indebtedness.” Its estimated debt, as of June 18, was about $23.8 million.
Unable to get financing to continue operating, “it is in the best interest of the creditors . that Wittnauer sell its assets as a going concern,” says the document.
Bulova, a subsidiary of the Loews Corp., is 126 years old and headquartered in Woodside, NY, though most of its production is done in the Far East and in Switzerland. Its major brands include Accutron, Bulova and Caravelle. Independent jewelers are the major clients of both brands.