BREAKING NEWS: Bulova to close UK office as operation is absorbed by Citizen

President of Citizen Watch America, Bulova Jeffrey Cohen, Katharine McPhee and Managing Director Bulova U.S. Michael Benavente attend the Bulova x GRAMMY Brunch in the Clive Davis Theater at The GRAMMY Museum on February 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Charley Gallay/WireImage)President of Citizen Watch America, Bulova Jeffrey Cohen, Katharine McPhee and Managing Director Bulova U.S. Michael Benavente attend the Bulova x GRAMMY Brunch in the Clive Davis Theater at The GRAMMY Museum on February 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/WireImage)

Bulova’s UK subsidiary is set to close as its operation is absorbed by Citizen, which acquired the brand in 2008.

Citizen Watch America, parent company of both Citizen Watch, and Bulova UK confirmed that both businesses will be integrated together in one location before the end of the year.

“The idea of this proposal is to streamline the UK operations for the benefit of both brands,” a statement from Citizen confirmed today.

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The Bulova office in Watford will close, and all business will be transferred to Citizen’s premises in Wokingham.

No redundancies have been announced, but the merger of the operations is expected to result in cost savings.

Citizen and Bulova staff have been informed and are currently being consulted about the integration process.

 

“With both sides of the business utilising shared resources at its core, each brand will gain from enhanced productivity, updated systems and processes, increased knowledge sharing and best practice resulting in greater efficiencies and cost savings across the group,” said Jeffrey Cohen, president of Citizen Watch America.

News that Bulova’s business is being absorbed by Citizen comes just a day after a similar announcement on the future of Frederique Constant and Alpina in the UK.

Citizen bought Frederique Constant and Alpina last year — both of which were distributed by Argento Fine Products for seven years in the UK. Sales, marketing and distribution has now switched to the Citizen operation in Wokingham.

Citizen’s recent acquisitions are putting the company on course to become a major group capable of offering distinct brands at different price points.

Top of the Citizen portfolio is Arnold & Son, a watchmaker founded in Cornwall that can trace its history back almost 300 years. It is now based in Switzerland and makes a limited number of pieces priced at around £7,000 up to £100,000.

Citzen bought Swiss holding company Prothor Holding SA in 2012. The company owned movement specialist La Joux-Perret (formerly Jaquet SA), component maker Prototec and Arnold & Son.

Alpina and Frederique Constant, also based in Switzerland, were acquired in 2016. Both specialise in affordable luxury mechanical pieces and are also pioneers in connected Swiss watches that combine smart technology with traditional style and craftsmanship.

American brand Bulova was acquired by Citizen in 2008, and brings almost 150 years of watchmaking experience to the Japanese group.

Citizen’s own watch brand is the lowest-priced in the group.

In Japan, all Citizen Watch Company brands are sold from a single boutique that opened earlier this year in Tokyo. No plans for a similar flagship in the UK have been announced.

Citizen Watch UK reported sales of £26.6 million in 2016.

The latest Companies House financial statement from Bulova UK was for 2015, when the company turnover was £4.97 million.

 

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