PARIS — Expanding its reach into the realm of watchmaking, Chanel has bought a minority stake in Montres Journe, the company behind the brand F.P. Journe, the French luxury house said on Monday.
Established by François-Paul Journe, who made his first watch in Paris in the early Eighties, the company has been making high-end timepieces in Geneva since 1999. It limits production to 900 watches a year, designing and building all of the movements, cases and watch cases, garnering a close following among watch collectors around the world and racking up prestigious prizes like the Geneva Aiguille d’Or, or “golden hand” Grand Prix d’Horlogerie, which it won three times.
“Chanel’s stake will enable Montres Journe SA to continue its development by ensuring its sustainability, as well as its autonomy,” Chanel said in a statement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Chanel in 1998 invested in Bell & Ross and in 2011 in the Swiss watchmaking house of Romain Gauthier, who has made components designed by Chanel teams for the French house’s Monsieur watch. Chanel has not disclosed its ownership levels in the watchmakers.
Swiss watch exports, a key indicator of the broader health of the industry, have clocked brisk growth in recent months, rising 6.6 percent in July, fueled by strong demand from Asian consumers.
F.P. Journe set up a boutique in Kiev last year, bringing the number of boutiques to nine.