Watchmaker Breitling Said to Be Considering a Sale

Posted by Andrea Squatrito on

You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely take care of it for the next generation

This famous line helps understand why the monitoring of the secondary markets makes perfect sense for the luxury watches segment: for these durable luxury items, whose official price list are a quite well kept secret in the retail distribution, the rising ecommerce platforms bring transparency, and it turns to be an important tool to obtain independent information on the market.

This analysis focuses on the watches already in the secondary market and is not by any means a proxy of revenues or market share of the brands.

We carefully analyzed hundreds of thousand of items from main independent ecommerce platforms, selecting only new (out of boutiques or warehouses) and unworn watches, to analyze the hold of value of these items trough time. We excluded all model with pricing not explicated and setting the threshold to 70.000 Euro to focus on the core market. All data is as of 3rd quarter 2016.

According to Bloomberg (November the 28th 2016)Breitling SA could be on sale.

We developed an analysis on luxury watches in a detailed comparison among following players: Rolex Group, Richemont Group, Swatch Group, LVMH, Kering and Breitling.
For these durable luxury items, whose official price list are a quite well kept secret in the retail distribution, analyzing ecommerce platforms proves to be extremely valuable.


Breitling is the third brand by number of watches

6% of total volume of luxury timepieces are branded Breitling (secondary market, new and unworn only).
The potential merger with an existing group could either shift the balance of the sector, or consolidate existing ones.

Breitling market positioning competitor benchmark

Competitive Map

Breitling positioning in the Price/Volume map (all models of the secondary market) place the brand among the most popular. As you can see in the following graph the number of product Breitling sold is very important and very close to Rolex ones.


Breitling watches competitors comparison


Brands price positioning overlap

Rolex (which includes Tudor) and Breitling seem to have a huge overlap in customer segments served. Breitling would bring its contribution to the already strong segment of Rolex: 2 to 8.000 Eur price range.



We compared brand positioning (as you can see above the Rolex example) as well as single models comparison. For Breitling we chose the Chronomat, as was the model with the highest number of items in the secondary market analyzed.

The Breitling Chronomat, released in 1941, has been one of the best selling watches produced by Breitling, as proved by the second market results.

The first Chronomat had a circular slide rule and its design followed the tension of the era for military watches. There were two variations of the first Chronomat, one in steel and the other in an 18 karat rose gold case.

The current model, released in 2009, was the first watch produced entirely by Breitling - the previous model had a Valjoux movement.

For a more significant comparison, we benchmnarked similar versions of models, and the choice, driven by the weight that steel has in Breitling portfolio, was on "all steel" models (steel case and steel bracelet).

Please refer to our research for more in depth analysis.


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