PARIS — Bolstering its watchmaking firepower, Chanel continues to invest in watchmakers and said it is taking a stake in Kenissi, a Swiss-based maker of automatic timepiece movements.
The move fits the company’s strategy of seeking to offer high-quality casing and movements to its products, Chanel said in a statement, noting it kicked off this approach with the purchase of G&F Châtelain in 1993. Chanel did not reveal financial details of the transaction or indicate the amount of the stake.
Kenissi is based in Geneva but will move to new buildings in Le Locle in 2021. Chanel said it will show a new product featuring pieces made by Kenissi at the Baselworld trade fair in March this year.
Chanel in September announced it had bought a minority stake in Montres Journe, the company behind the brand F.P. Journe. The French luxury house invested in Bell & Ross in 1998 and subsequently bought a stake in 2011 in the Swiss watchmaking house of Romain Gauthier, which has produced components designed by Chanel teams for the French house’s Monsieur watch.
Luxury timepieces have outperformed lower-priced wristwatches in recent months, fueling growth for exports of Swiss timepieces in November, with watches priced at more than 3,000 Swiss francs, or around $3,052, growing 8.4 percent, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.
Those figures showed a continuing “boom” in the highest-priced segment, Christian Weiz, analyst with Baader Helvea, said in a research note. Analysts have been closely eyeing Swiss watch exports, a barometer for the luxury goods sector.