Reviving a Swiss watchmaking legend

In a major development for the Swiss watch industry, Breitling has acquired the historic brand Universal Genève. This move is set to rejuvenate the prestigious legacy of Universal Genève, known for its innovative watchmaking and distinctive designs. Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling, expressed enthusiasm for the revival, emphasizing the profound heritage of Universal Genève and the dedication required to honor its storied past.

The Universal Geneve factory in 1956 in Carouge, a municipality in the Canton of Geneva © Breitling

Universal Genève, established in 1894, gained fame for its pioneering designs and technical achievements, especially during the mid-20th century. However, it faced challenges during the quartz crisis and had been managed by the Stelux Group of Hong Kong since 1989. Breitling’s acquisition aims to restore Universal Genève’s former glory, maintaining its distinctiveness while positioning it for contemporary relevance.


Universal Genève watchmakers working in te factory - 1960s © Breitling

"We are committed to reviving Universal Genève not just in name but in spirit," said Joseph Wong, Chairman and CEO of Stelux Group, confident in Breitling’s ability to elevate the brand.


A Universal Geneve advertising banner during an automotive race in Brazil, circa 1950s © Breitling


The acquisition allows both Breitling and Universal Genève to operate as separate entities, with a dedicated team focusing on leveraging Universal Genève’s historical significance in the world of luxury watches. This strategic move promises to blend tradition with innovation, aiming to reintroduce Universal Genève’s iconic timepieces to a new generation of watch enthusiasts.



The Tri-Compax full calendar by Universal Genève © Breitling