In a surprising industry maneuver, Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. announced earlier today that it will acquire Frederique Constant as part of their multi-brand expansion strategy. Under this deal, Citizen will absorb the brands Frederique Constant, Alpina, and DeMonaco.
This isn’t Citizen’s first rodeo. Some might remember that in 2012, Citizen acquired the holding company Prothor, which managed a portfolio consisting of Arnold & Son, Prototec, and the manufacture La Joux-Perret. The acquisition of La Joux-Perret—a known high-end movement modifier—is especially significant when one considers their clientele, which includes but isn’t limited to Montblanc, Bremont, Eberhard & Co., Panerai, Hanhart, and Jaquet Droz.
Regarding the deal, Citizen CEO Toshio Tokura said, “We have a great opportunity to expand the sales of Frederique Constant through our current distribution channels of Citizen branded watches, particularly in Japan and the US,” later adding, “Citizen will be able to achieve great synergy for sharing technologies and infrastructures in the future.”
With Frederique Constant’s in-house expansion, this acquisition may be a sign of Citizen’s increased desire to further breach “Swiss made.” Citizen currently uses La Joux-Perret movements across its luxury Campanola range, and its expanded portfolio will include a new eco-system of modular in-house movements already developed by Frederique Constant. Frederique Constant’s Horological Smartwatch platform (Frederique Constant bought out its Silicon Valley partners earlier this year) is also part of the deal.
Revolution reports that Citizen will keep onboard Frederique Constant founder and CEO Peter Stas and his team for the next five years. Frederique Constant will also be allowed to operate independently much like Citizen’s other subsidiaries.