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20th Anniversary
Bucherer Group - Guido Zumbühl

Bucherer Group Guido Zumbühl

CEO*

In the 1990s, Bucherer was starting to feel a little cramped in Switzerland, where it had some 15 points of sale, and so began to expand abroad, firstly into neighbouring German-speaking countries, with the benefit of both shared borders and a shared culture. Guido Zumbühl, a polyglot and a sportsman, arrived in 1997 as the group’s CFO and made growth his leitmotif, taking Bucherer from the status of Swiss giant to that of world leader. In 2002, he took the helm of three companies in the group: Kurz jewellery, aimed at a local customer base; Swiss Lion, which focuses on tourist sites; and Bucherer Watches, which he was to transform into an authentic watch brand, Carl F. Bucherer. In 2009, Zumbühl became CEO of the group, his top priority being to modernise it whilst staying true to its roots and maintaining growth. This involved establishing a new organisational structure and revitalising corporate culture to keep pace with this new development, thereby turning Bucherer into an international leader in watch and jewellery sales. In the space of five years, the group’s revenues doubled. 2013 saw the first location in a non-German-speaking country, with the opening of its watchmaking megastore in the heart of Paris. The first opening in a country that did not have a border with Switzerland was in Denmark in 2016, followed by the UK in 2017 with the buyout of The Watch Gallery, which brought with it the additional benefit of its experience in e-commerce. The brand crossed the Atlantic in 2018 with the acquisition of Tourneau, with rebranding planned for 2021 – and double-digit growth has continued uninterrupted.

Guido Zumbühl

Guido Zumbühl © Bucherer

At the same time, Bucherer’s identity has continued to evolve and reach new customer segments, with the launch of its Blue Editions in 2016, online sales in 2017, the complete overhaul of its flagship stores in Geneva and Zurich in 2018, as well as the introduction of certified pre-owned watches in 2019. In order to focus on the strength of the Bucherer brand, now boasting over 80 stores worldwide, Kurz Jewellery was sold in 2020. Still enjoying the blessing of Jörg G. Bucherer – representing the third generation of the founding family – Bucherer is the epitome of a nimble giant.

*On the occasion of GMT Magazine and WorldTempus' 20th anniversary, we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with a 10% discount if you use the following code: WT2021.

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