The Gucci Group acquired majority control of Bedat & Co., the Swiss watchmaker founded in 1996. The brand was introduced in the U.S. in 1997. Gucci will acquire 85% of the Bedat business. Simone Bedat will be chairman of the board, and her son Christian will continue as chief executive and will remain a shareholder in the business.
The mother-and-son team founded the brand after years at Raymond Weil in Switzerland. The young brand's watches sold quickly, a success most recently recognized in the Sept. 18 Forbes magazine cover story on the watch industry Christian Bedat is pictured on the cover.
The company expands Gucci's presence in the luxury time arena. Earlier this year Gucci purchased famed French jeweler and watch company Boucheron and the fashion watch business of Yves Saint Laurent. This year, Bedat expected sales of about $12 million. Gucci says it will expand the brand's presence in Japan, Europe, Asia and in select U.S. retailers. Bedat's U.S. office is in San Francisco.
- by Michael Thompson