Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Jorg G. Bucherer Dies at Age 87


Jörg G. Bucherer

Dies at Age 87 

Jörg Bucherer died on Monday evening, the Bucherer group confirmed today. The Swiss newspaper “Handelszeitung” was first to report the news. He was 87 years old.

Jörg Bucherer represented the third generation at the helm of the Lucerne family business. He took over his father's business in 1977 and pursued a policy of expansion, first in Austria and Germany. 

He opened the world's largest watch and jewelry store in Paris, made acquisitions in Great Britain and the United States and established himself in New York. 

He also launched into the second-hand luxury watch business. 

Today, the brand has more than a hundred specialized jewelry stores around the world and has 2,400 employees, according to the group. 

The headquarters on Schwanenplatz in Lucerne is also a tourist attraction, benefiting from tourist busses stopping in front of the store. During the global pandemic, Bucherer was hit hard by the tourism crisis and had to cut jobs. 

Very discreet and having no direct descendants, Jörg Bucherer sold the company to Rolex in August 2023. He was the last businessman to personally know Rolex founder, Hans Wilsdorf, and to work with him. 

Bucherer has been selling its products since 1924 and Rolex, still unknown at the time, became the main partner of the family business.

Jörg expanded the business into Austria in the 1980s, and then into Germany in the 1990s. In 2013, Bucherer celebrated its 125th Anniversary by opening the worlds largest jewelry and watch store in Paris, France which is pictured below.

In 2016, Bucherer opened their most northerly store in Copenhagen, Denmark, which is also the largest watch and jewelry store in 
Scandinavia. Bucherer added four more boutiques in London, England in 2017 with the acquisition of The Watch Gallery. 

In 2018, Bucherer took over the American luxury watch store behemoth, Tourneau, which features 32 stores located access the United States. Tourneau has been a loyal Rolex watch reseller for many, many years. As a matter of fact the Tourneau ad below is from 1945.

1945 Tourneau Rolex Oyster Perpetual Bubbleback New York Advertisement pictured above

Bucherer today is the biggest watch and jewelry retailer in Europe. Bucherer's retail presence consists of 35 stores in Europe, with 17 stores in Switzerland, 10 stores in Germany, a flagship boutique in Vienna, as well as a store in Copenhagen and 6 boutiques in London, as well as the Paris store pictured and mentioned above. Below is a list of watch brands Bucherer sells today:

Jörg G. Bucherer agreed to sell Bucherer AG to Rolex which caught the horological world by surprise for an undisclosed amount of money. It is believed Bucherer annual Rolex sales represent around 4-6% of Rolex sales.

Jörg Bucherer pictured above in a recent photo

In a press release in August, Rolex said Bucherer's decision to sell to Rolex was made in the absence of direct dependents. Rolex's secret to success formula has remained the same for many decades, as they slowly and methodically keep consolidating and changing with the times, while remaining timeless with their principles and magnificently over-engineered Rolex watches which are all still made in Switzerland.

Rolex and Partners: Kindred spirits in pioneering endeavors

Rolex and Partners

Kindred spirits in pioneering endeavors

The history of Rolex sponsorship is defined by the pursuit of perpetual excellence, which underpins every aspect of the brand's interests, from its watchmaking to its support for the greatest names in sport, exploration and the arts. The company has always been proud to align with individuals and entities who share the same values. For almost a century, these partnerships have grown to include an extraordinary array of talent from myriad disciplines, as well as the events and organizations with which they are associated. Rolex remains committed to going beyond what is deemed possible, ensuring continuity of expertise and knowledge, and investing in the development of future generations.