Hermès pays $19.8 million for 25 percent of Swiss watch parts maker

The French luxury goods group Hermès said Friday that it will acquire a 25 percent share in Swiss luxury watch parts maker Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier. Its investment is valued at 15.7 million euros ($19.8 million). Vaucher is owned by the Sandoz Family Foundation.

The investment, said the Hermès Group, is “a significant new step” in its strategy to expand in its watch business through this partnership with the Sandoz Family Foundation, and also “reinforces [its] presence in mechanical watches and promotes its access to exceptional know-how.”

Vaucher specializes in the design, production and assembly of mechanical movements and components. It is based in Fleurier in Switzerland and supplies a small circle of prestigious watch brands, including the Sandoz-owned brand Parmigiani Fleurier.

The Hermès Group, founded in 1837 and based in Paris, designs, develops and markets high-quality products in fourteen categories, including watches, jewelry, leather goods, silk scarves and ties, ready-to-wear and tableware.

The Sandoz Family Foundation, a Swiss company based in Pully, Switzerland, was established in 1964. It has long-term holdings in companies in a variety of sectors, including watches, pharmaceuticals, agribusiness, hotels, telecommunications, and the Internet It is also involved in arts and cultural activities.