Breitling’s announcement in December that it had acquired the all-but defunct Swiss watch company Universal Genève was an early Christmas gift for the watch community, much of which had been calling for the brand’s revival. But onlookers were left guessing what was in the package.
In a recent video call, Breitling’s chief executive, Georges Kern, unwrapped the story, saying the company had invested “around 60 million Swiss francs” ($70.5 million) for the rights to produce watches with the Universal Genève name and for access to the company’s archive.
One day Universal Genève will operate independently, Mr. Kern said, but for now, Breitling will focus on redevelopment. He estimated that it would be around two years before a new collection with “new designs, new movements, new advertising and new distribution” would be available. However, he said, the brand will “not go dark” in the interim, adding that there were “many ways to activate the brand before relaunching it,” such as engaging with collectors.