Singapore chain buys Swiss watch retailer

Singapore specialty watch retailer The Hour Glass has purchased rival Watches of Switzerland, a 50-year old watch retail chain.

Watches of Switzerland, formerly owned by the Jay Gee Melwani Group, will become a 100 per cent subsidiary of The Hour Glass Group, which will use internal reserves to fund the purchase.

The Hour Glass says the deal was driven by the opportunity for it to “tap into Singapore’s suburban retail landscape and extend its reach into the prestige watch segment”.

The Hour Glass Group has 32 boutiques principally located within core prime luxury shopping precincts. With this new acquisition, it will be able to “tap into the rising affluence of suburban Singapore,” raising its network of boutiques in Singapore to 20; and a total of 37 boutiques throughout the Asia- Pacific region.

The listed company will continue to maintain and operate the Watches of Switzerland retail brand through its current five stores in VivoCity, The Paragon, Centrepoint, Tampines Mall and City Square Mall.

Michael Tay, executive director of The Hour Glass said the purchase will bring about more developmental opportunities, strengthening the group’s position in the watch retail sector.

“Given the synergies across various merchandising and operating platforms, we see tremendous potential in enhancing our overall business. More importantly, we are excited to be welcoming Watches of Switzerland’s excellent team of sales professionals into The Hour Glass family.”

R Dhinakaran, group MD of Jay Gee Melwani Group, said his company was pleased to have found “a like-minded peer” in The Hour Glass.

“The Hour Glass not only understands and respects the core elements of our business, but also has the resources and capacity to grow the business with success. We believe this transaction will provide new opportunities for our employees, customers and business partners,” he said.

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