Festina Buys Candino

Festina, the Spanish watch group, has bought the Candino Watch Co., a family-owned Swiss business that makes Europe’s popular mid-priced Candino Swiss watch brand. The acquisition was completed Jan.16 by Miguel Rodriguez, president and owner of Festina, and Kurt Flury, head of Candino. Details of the deal weren’t released.

The acquisition extends and strengthens the Spanish watchmaker’s activities in the Swiss watch business, notes Phil Schwetz, president of Festina USA. Candino is sold in some 50 countries, but not in North America. It is possible Festina USA will distribute Candino in the United States, but this was not confirmed at press time.

Festina’s other brands include Jaguar, Calypso, and Lotus.

While the union merges the two companies’ manufacturing and sales, their individual brand identities in the mid-price segment of the market remain unchanged.

Candino was founded in 1947 by the Flury family, which has made watches in Switzerland’s Solothurn Jura region since the 19th century. The company’s headquarters are in Biel, Switzerland, and its plant in Herbetswil, Switzerland, has about 90 employees and produces about 2,000 watches a day.

The Festina Group, based in Barcelona, was founded in 1902. The company’s watches are sold in more than 50 countries, including the United States. Festina is the official timekeeper of the Tour de France bicycle competition, the official watch of more than 50 events in the United States, and the official watch of the U.S. Cycling Team. A Festina watch is awarded annually to inductees of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame.