Bulova Buys Wittnauer

September 7, 2001

Bulova Buys Wittnauer

Bulova Corp. acquired the timepieces trademarks of Wittnauer International for $11.6 million. The acquisition includes related inventory and receivables. Wittnauer, New Rochelle, NY, is known primarily for its dress watches, most priced under $1,000 at retail, and has operated a production facility in Cayey, Puerto Rico, since 1990.

Bulova did not purchase the production facilities in Puerto Rico nor the New Rochelle office of Wittnauer. Management at Wittnauer has renamed the company "Link Time" and has retained the FUBU, Halston and Zeus trademarks. Bulova plans to operate Wittnauer as a distinct division, rather than adding the brand to the Bulova collection.

The purchase combines two of the best known U.S. watch companies and two of the oldest. Wittnauer is 121 years old and Bulova, a subsidiary of the Loews Corp., is 126 years old. Its design and management offices are in Woodside, NY, and its production is completed primarily in the Far East and in Switzerland. Bulova's primary collections include Accutron, Bulova and Caravelle. Both distribute via independent jewelers, chain stores and department stores.

- by Michael Thompson