Olivia Burton, the UK fashion watch brand that launched its own line of jewellery last year, has been sold to American watchmaker Movado in a cash deal worth £60m.
The brand was only founded by Lesa Bennett and Jemma Fennings in 2011 but has made rapid progress in a short space of time, posting sales of £15m last year. It is aiming to do £25m over the next 12 months.
Olivia Burton is sold through leading retailers, including John Lewis, Watchshop, Argento, Selfridges and Beaverbrooks in the UK and recently through Nordstrom in the US, where it is now available in 117 stores. It also operates a concession at Topshop’s flagship location in Oxford Circus, London.
In September last year the company decided to make its move into the jewellery sector, with Fennings explaining at the time: “We’ve seen such an overwhelming response to the brand since we launched and expanding the Olivia Burton offering into other product categories was always on the agenda. The launch of jewellery felt like a natural extension of the brand.”
Its initial range saw dainty bow necklaces and bracelets take inspiration from vintage trinket jewellery and offer easy-to-wear options. It also launched a contemporary range of ‘engravable’ styles, including drop bar bangles, dainty disc pendant necklaces and coordinating bracelets.
Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and boutique.Goldsmiths were among the first retailers to take on the brand’s jewellery offering, which sits at the £35 – £95 pricepoint.
NYSE-listed Movado is best known for being one of the world’s top watch makers but CEO Efraim Grinberg appeared to confirm that the company is excited by the jewellery opportunities the acquisition will bring.
“With this acquisition, we not only reaffirm our commitment to the watch category, but also expand our presence into fashion jewellery,” he commented. “Olivia Burton’s success under Lesa and Jemma’s direction prove that beautifully designed watches and jewelry can continue to excite today’s consumer.”
Mr Grinberg added that the firm would also seek to expand Olivia Burton’s international presence and grow its e-commerce sales.
Olivia Burton employs 33 staff at its head office in Shoreditch, London, all of whom Movado has indicated it intends to retain.