This Article is From Nov 08, 2023

Billionaire Jorg Bucherer, Head of Swiss Watch Retailer, Dies Months After Selling Business To Rolex

Bucherer boss Jorg Bucherer died shortly after the sale of his jewelry and watch chain to Rolex.

Billionaire Jorg Bucherer, Head of Swiss Watch Retailer, Dies Months After Selling Business To Rolex

Jorg Bucherer sold the company to Rolex in August 2023.

Jorg G Bucherer, representative of the third generation at the head of the Lucerne family business, died at the age of 87 on Monday evening. Earlier this summer, his jewellery and watch chain were acquired by Rolex. The group confirmed Bucherer's demise in response to inquiries from media outlets.

Mr Bucherer succeeded his father in 1977 and embarked on an expansion strategy, starting in Austria and Germany. He established himself in New York, opened the world's largest watch and jewellery store in Paris, made acquisitions in the United Kingdom and the United States, and 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.

According to Bloomberg, Mr Bucherer agreed to sell Bucherer AG to Rolex in August, a move that stunned the world of high-end watch retailing. The firm started by his grandfather had been selling expensive timepieces and glittering gems to the global rich and famous for more than a century.

The companies didn't disclose the terms of their deal, under which Bucherer remained the retailer's honorary president. Arriving at an estimate was difficult since neither Switzerland-based firm publishes financial results.

The octogenarian Bucherer's decision to dispose of the closely held family business to its most important partner took the industry by surprise, partly because of the intense secrecy surrounding himself and the two companies, whose histories have been closely entwined for decades. In a statement about the agreement, Rolex said Jorg Bucherer's choice was made "in the absence of direct descendants."

(With inputs from Bloomberg)