Swatch Group plans to “significantly invest” in recently acquired brand Harry Winston, according to its annual report.
“The result of [synergies between Swatch and Winston] will start to become more visible in the coming year at the Baselworld trade fair, with the relocation of Harry Winston to a more prominent position on the ground floor of the fair and the introduction of new products,” the report said.
The brand is also planning to increase its visibility by expanding its retail distribution network in key markets, it said.
In the introduction to the report, Swatch board chair Nayla Hayek defended the $1 billion purchase of the brand from miner Dominion.
“I won’t waste your time with reflections on the favorable conditions under which we were able to buy Harry Winston,” she said. “I also won’t go into the question of whether, given our cash-reserve situation, it was or was not the right moment, if it was a fair price or not, if it was the best possible investment we could make or not. I am certain, as are the Swatch Group board of directors and executive group management board, that it was the best thing to do.
The purchase also brings Swatch into a “new realm,” Hayek said.
“We are adding a dimension that was lacking in Swatch Group until now,” she said. “With Harry Winston, we are no longer talking about products, or more precisely objects, which can only be produced through human ingenuity. With Harry Winston, we are talking about elements of nature that are so rare, that require such exceptional conditions to take shape and to find their way to us, they are almost inconceivable.”