On Tuesday 2 March, the Neuchâtel watchmaking brand, renowned for its mechanical fluids, announced that it had filed for bankruptcy. HYT was unable to raise the capital it needed, “due to a blockade by institutional shareholders” according to a letter published on the Watchuseek forum and written by the chairman, Patrick Berdoz, and the managing director, Michel Nieto.
The company owes its bankruptcy to the blockage of its institutional shareholders in raising funds to relaunch the company. According to the president of the economic news agency AWP, the company was aiming for 5 million francs to stabilise and 10 million francs to invest more, confirming the information published in the newspaper “Le Temps”.
“It is damaging for employment but also for the subcontractors of an industry already in turmoil,” he deplores. HYT had about 20 of them, five or six of which were the main ones. “2020 should have been a great year and it was extremely difficult because of Covid”.
“There is nobody left in the offices,” he added. The 17 employees, compared to 24 at the beginning of 2020, were dismissed on 28 February, according to “Le Temps”.
After 9 years of existence, the company has not been able to recover from the consequences of the pandemic, the main cause of the closure of physical shops. “We are a niche brand, not a mainstream product,” said Patrick Berdoz. As a result, the brand’s “thick” models must be “placed on customers’ wrists”, so that they can take the measure of the timepieces, which is not possible with online sales.
According to him, between 400 and 500 models were sold per year, particularly in South America, Europe and the United States. The brand therefore enjoyed the “confidence of the market” and intended to expand in Asia, particularly in China.
Gregory Dourde, Managing Director of the company, leaves his position as CEO in favour of the collaboration with Preciflex, which developed and industrialised micro-devices using fluids for indication, diffusion and injection for HYT.
According to Business Montres, Preciflex will now focus more on the use of micro-controlled fluids in medical solutions.
The after-sales service for current owners of HYT models will still be managed by Preciflex.
Featured Photo : © Hyt
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