History

Since its foundation, the Group has evolved into a pure luxury goods group. Follow our journey here.

MyBody dress by AZ Factory

2021

Alber Elbaz and Richemont launched AZ Factory

a pioneering joint venture focused on beautiful, solutions-driven fashion that works for everyone – smart fashion that cares. The digital luxury start-up was built around the core ideas of love, trust and respect with inclusivity and sustainability at its core.

2020

Watch Show on the Cloud

Faced with unprecedented disruption from Covid-19, Richemont’s Maisons, businesses and people, with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, demonstrate ingenuity and agility by facilitating and participating in the first Digital Watches and Wonders, with an exclusive version in China: Watch Show on the Cloud. The exhibition hosted on the NET-A-PORTER Tmall Luxury Pavilion flagship store and on Weibo and WeChat, created over 360m impressions; the 4-hour live stream was watched by 160 000 viewers.

Meanwhile, Cartier, Chloé, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Panerai, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin continued to develop their digital offers, launching online flagship stores on Tmall Luxury Pavilion in China.

Buccellati, Dream Bracelets Collection

2019

Another active year for Richemont

We extend our fine jewellery expertise with the acquisition of Buccellati, the renowned and highly distinctive Italian jewellery Maison. The Group also signs an agreement to form an innovative joint venture, AZfashion, with acclaimed and talented designer Alber Elbaz.

The opening of NET-A-PORTER’s flagship store on Tmall Luxury Pavilion, the dedicated channel for luxury and premium brands in China, marks the operational launch of FENGMAO 风茂, the joint venture established between YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP and Alibaba Group to further embrace the future of luxury in a connected world.

Richemont steps up its ambition in sustainability with the launch of its Transformational CSR Strategy, underpinned by Richemont’s Movement for Better Luxury. In addition to being carbon neutral within its own operations, the Group will now also offset logistics emissions in Scope 3 of the GHG Protocol.

Watchfinder & Co. Lakeside Boutique Essex

2018

Richemont acquires full ownership of YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP and also acquires Watchfinder & Co., a UK leading pre-owned premium watch specialist to benefit from a complementary, growing and relatively unstructured segment of the watch industry.

The same year, the Group completes the sale of Lancel and successfully places a €4bn inaugural euro denominated bond with an A+ S&P Global rating.

HOMO FABER, the first major exhibition dedicated to showcase European craftsmanship, is launched in Venice supported by the Michaelangelo Foundation, offering the general public an unprecedented opportunity to meet artisans and watch them work.

Serapian, Mosaico

2017

Richemont acquires Serapian, Milan's best kept secret, and a one-time leather supplier to Cartier and dunhill. The Maison is synonymous with excellence in craftsmanship and Milanese sophistication.

Richemont sells Shanghai Tang, the Chinese fashion house.

YNAP offices in Bologna, Technology Temple - © PH Gabriel De La Chapelle

2015

This year sees the merger of The NET-A-PORTER GROUP with YOOX Group

in an all-share transaction to create the YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP, listed on the Italian stock exchange, with Richemont initially holding 50% of the share capital and 25% of voting rights.

Richemont through Cartier cofounded the Coloured Gemstones Working Group (CGWG) alongside Tiffany & Co., Swarovski, LVMH, Kering and Gemfields. The CGWG aims to support the industry’s responsible sourcing of coloured gemstones by enabling better practices, developing tools and reducing adverse impacts throughout the supply chain.

Richemont launched TimeVallée, a visionary multibrand watch retail concept open to all high-end watchmakers and available to our multibrand watch retail partners, with the objective of bringing benefits to customers and the watch industry as a whole.

École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

2014

Richemont creates an academic chair in “Multi-scale Manufacturing Technologies” and signs a framework research agreement

with l’Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) to develop new technologies to respond to future industrial requirements for the high precision industry. Another notable development this year includes the establishment of the Group's three-year Sustainability plan.

2013

Richemont becomes a participant in the United Nations Global Compact,

the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative, based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support UN goals. 2013 also sees the start of the Cartier Charitable Foundation’s operations.

Richemont is a pioneer in Switzerland of the Responsible Jewellery Council Code of Practices, which since 2013 has been deployed in the watch industry. Today more than 95% of 18 carat gold delivered to our Maisons is delivered by RJC COP certified suppliers.

Peter Millar, Seaside Collection

2012

Richemont expands its men’s and women’s fashion offering through the acquisition of Peter Millar, a company distinguished by its strength in the US market, link to the golf world and strong online retail presence.

The Group also acquires Varin-Etampage & Varinor, a high-end manufacturer of stamped exterior components for watches, gold refiner and producer of semi-finished precious metal products destined for watches and jewellery, to extend its manufacturing capabilities and improve control over its supply chain.

We open the Campus Genevois de Haute Horlogerie, built in accordance with demanding environmental and socially responsible standards, to notably transmit knowledge and expertise in watchmaking through L’Ecole des Métiers et Artisans de Haute Horlogerie.

L'École des Arts Joailliers, the first school to share the secrets of the jewellery world with a large and varied audience, opens in Paris with the support of Van Cleef & Arpels.

Cartier Philanthropy is also founded, with a commitment to improving the standard of living of the most vulnerable and helping them to fulfil their potential.

2010

Extending its strategic move into online luxury retail Richemont increases its ownership

to over 90% of the shares of NET-A-PORTER.COM, by now the premier online luxury fashion retailer. From this year onwards, a further commitment towards the environment was taken by the Group as all our new manufacturing facilities are designed with special care for the environment.

2009

For the first time, the Group becomes carbon neutral across its operations

(buildings, travel and own logistics), through efforts to decrease emissions and purchases of carbon offsets.

Roger Dubuis, Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt

2008

Richemont acquires a 60% interest in Manufacture Roger Dubuis,

adding the Maison to its broadening luxury portfolio. The Group focuses purely on its luxury business by regrouping its other interests into Reinet Investments S.C.A., a new separately traded vehicle.

Azzedine Alaïa - © Gilles Bensimon

2007

The focus on exemplary Maisons continues with the acquisition of Alaïa,

the Parisian fashion house. The strategic development of the Group’s manufacturing capabilities progresses with the purchase of the watch case manufacturer Donzé-Baume and of the component manufacturing operations of Manufacture Roger Dubuis, to be renamed Manufacture Genevoise de Haute Horlogerie.

2006

Continued refinement of the Group’s portfolio leads to the acquisition of Fabrique d'Horlogerie Minerva,

which specialises in the development and manufacturing of high-end mechanical movements, and a long term partnership with the dynamic and innovative Swiss watchmaker, Greubel Forsey (20% equity stake). Richemont disposes of its stake in the French retailer Old England, after the disposal of the UK brand Hackett the year before.

Richemont's headquarters move to Bellevue, near Geneva, into a facility integrating Jean Nouvel-designed modern architecture, the natural landscape and a 19th century chalet, reflecting our unique blend of tradition and innovation.

Key steps are taken with the creation of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards and the publication of Richemont’s inaugural Sustainability Report, as well as related codes on sustainability and the environment.

2005

Richemont, through Cartier, is one of the 14 founding members of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC),

established to promote responsible social and environmental practices in gold and diamond supply chains. The Group is also one of the founding partners of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie set up to promote fine watchmaking.

2004

Richemont presents the Montres et Merveilles exhibition of fine watchmaking in Beijing,

the first time an exhibition of fine watchmaking is been staged in the exceptional surroundings of the Forbidden City. British American Tabacco preference share conversion further reduces our effective interest in the company to 18.6%.

Creative Academy, Milan

2003

The Group launches its Creative Academy in Milan,

a school for designers, product developers and communication professionals. Richemont acquires full ownership of Van Cleef & Arpels (remaining 20%) and A. Lange & Söhne (remaining 10%).

2002

In a pioneering step into online luxury retail, Richemont acquires a 30% stake in the two year old online luxury fashion retailer NET-A-PORTER.COM

Also in 2002, Cartier launched the Institut Joaillerie with the objective of preserving know-how and developing innovative techniques in the jewellery industry.

Van Cleef & Arpels, Roméo et Juliette

2001

Richemont increases its interest in Van Cleef & Arpels to 80%.

IWC, Portugieser Annual Calendar

2000

The emerging focus on luxury goods is enhanced by the acquisitions of the three vertically integrated Swiss watchmakers

Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC Schaffhausen and A. Lange & Söhne, with well-deserved reputations for technical excellence, expertise in manufacturing high value movements and a unique position in the "classical" segment of the market for luxury watches. Here begins the reduction in the Group's interest in British American Tobacco. The sale of our Vivendi interest marks the Group's exit from pay-television and electronic media investments.

Richemont and Daimler found Laureus, a global organisation whose charitable arm, Laureus Sport for Good, celebrates sporting excellence and uses the power of sport to transform the lives of children and young people.

Boutique Van Cleef & Arpels, Paris Place Vendôme

1999

The management and executive board structures of Richemont and Vendôme merge.

The same year, the merger of Rothmans International with British American Tobacco sees Richemont become a 23.3% shareholder in the enlarged BAT.

The Group also disposes of a 15% interest in Canal+ in exchange for 2.9% interest in Vivendi and closes the decade with the strategic acquisition of a 60% interest in Van Cleef & Arpels, one of the world's most prestigious and widely recognised jewellers.

Vacheron Constantin watchmaking

1998

Richemont buys out Vendôme’s minority shareholders, thereby obtaining 100% ownership of its luxury goods interests.

During this time, Richemont buys out Rothmans International minority shareholders and merges its tobacco interests with those held by Rembrandt Group in South Africa.

Panerai, Luminor Due

1997

Purchase of Italian high precision watchmaker, Panerai, and French leather goods brand, Lancel.

Vacheron Constantin, Historiques American 1921

1996

Vendôme adds the Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin,

the oldest watch manufacturer in continuous existence, renowned for its watchmaking excellence and stylistic sophistication, to its portfolio.

Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain by architect Jean Nouvel © Luc Boegly

1994

The Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, founded in 1984, moves to Paris into a building designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, respectful of biodiversity and the environment.

Vendôme acquires Purdey, the reference in British gun making and countryside elegance since 1814, having earned a royal warrant from every monarch since Queen Victoria.

Facade of Cartier New Bond Street in London

1993

The Group’s second decade is marked by the strategic separation of Richemont's luxury goods holdings into Vendôme Luxury Group (Vendôme), a newly-created, UK-listed group, and its tobacco business into Rothmans International.

The same year, Cartier created the Institut Horlogerie Cartier to pass on exceptional watchmaking skills among apprentices and experienced craftsmen.

1992

Creation of the Montblanc Cultural Foundation that sponsors art, contemporary art, young theatre and classical music worldwide.

Jean-Philippe Maître (Canton of Geneva) cutting the ribbon, with Alain Dominique Perrin (Cartier CEO) and Yves Piaget (Chairman of Piaget).

1991

Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (now renamed Watches & Wonders) is founded by Cartier,

along with Baume & Mercier, Piaget, Gérald Genta and Daniel Roth – to create an exclusive watch salon based in Geneva.

1990

Richemont, through Cartier, established the first school dedicated to training professionals in the luxury industry.

Under the name of Institut Supérieur de Marketing du Luxe, Sup de Luxe recognised the sector’s increasing economic importance as well as its specific codes and professional requirements. In 1995, Sup de Luxe joined l’Ecole des Cadres (EDC).

Compagnie Financière Richemont Board of Directors

1988

Compagnie Financière Richemont SA is founded by Johann Rupert in 1988

through the spin-off of the international assets owned by Rembrandt Group Limited of South Africa (now known as Remgro Limited).

Established by Dr Anton Rupert in the 1940s, Rembrandt Group owned significant interests in the tobacco, financial services, wines and spirits, gold and diamond mining industries as well as the luxury goods investments that, along with the investment in Rothmans International, would form Richemont. As a result, Richemont holds minority holdings in Cartier Monde and Rothmans International, which also owns investments in Cartier Monde, dunhill and, through dunhill, Montblanc and Chloé. The following year Richemont acquires Philip Morris' 30% interest in Rothmans International.