A Rolex subsidiary bought a building, which houses rival Omega’s flagship boutique, on Geneva’s priciest shopping street in the latest battle between top Swiss watch brands for prime real estate.
Marconi Investment paid 120 million Swiss francs ($133 million) for the building on Rue du Rhone, according to a filing with Geneva’s land registry. The property’s tenants include the biggest boutique for Swatch Group’s top brand Omega in the Swiss city, according to local newspaper Tribune de Geneve. The real estate deal underscores the intense competition between brands both for customers and the best-located stores.
Omega will now be writing a sizable rent cheque to its biggest competitor each month and Rolex will have a say in how the building is maintained and operated. Under certain conditions, a new owner can more easily terminate an existing lease, the Tribune de Geneve reported.
Spokespeople for Rolex and Swatch Group declined to comment.
Rolex is the biggest Swiss brand with sales of 9.3 billion Swiss francs, according to Morgan Stanley estimates. Omega is the third largest with sales of about 2.5 billion francs. Geneva-based Richemont’s Cartier is the second biggest watch brand.
Source : BrandEquity