PARIS — Fresh from snapping up Singaporean crocodile tannery Heng Long International Ltd., LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton on Thursday said it has acquired 100 percent of ArteCad SA, a manufacturer of Swiss watch dials.
The move mirrors similar acquisitions by a string of luxury players, including Louis Vuitton, determined to secure their supply of watch components.
“This transaction will enable LVMH to further reinforce its industrial integration in watch-making and guarantee its independence in the strategic area of watch dials. LVMH already produces mechanical movements as well as cases, dials and bracelets,” the company said.
Louis Vuitton in July acquired La Fabrique du Temps, a high-end watch workshop founded in Geneva in 2007 and a partner of the French brand. The same month, PPR took majority control of Swiss watch firm Sowind Group, while Hermès International’s watch division, La Montre Hermès SA, in late September purchased a 32.5 percent stake in Swiss watch case maker Joseph Erard Holding for an undisclosed sum.
The prospect of Swatch Group lowering its supply of watch components is among contributing factors to the trend.
Founded in 1885, ArteCad SA manufactures more than 350,000 watch dials a year for LVMH brands and other luxury Swiss timepiece manufacturers. LVMH acquired the firm from Philippe Hubbard and Christophe Gouthier, who have owned and managed the firm since 2004. The duo will continue to serve as co-directors of the company, which has 215 employees at its main facility in Tramelan, Switzerland.
The market for watch parts has heated up as demand soars in emerging markets, creating production bottlenecks throughout the industry.