The QI Group’s venture into the luxury lifestyle sector has grown from numismatics coins and medallions to include fine timepieces, with the acquisition of a majority stake in the nearly century-old Swiss luxury watch brand CIMIER.

CIMIER was founded in 1924 in the picturesque Swiss town Bubendorf by master watchmaker Joseph Lapanouse. By the 1950s, with its distinctive pieces featuring luminescent numerals, centre second, and a novel chronograph, an incredible 1.5 million watches were being produced annually by the 500 employees in Bubendorf and sold worldwide.

In the 1970s, pulsating quartz crystals were introduced to the watch industry and CIMIER applied itself to this new technology, adopting a pioneering role in developing its own quartz movement.

However, family disaccord in the 80s resulted in the company halting production at a time when it was one of Switzerland’s largest watch manufacturers. It was revived in 2003, and after a 20-year hiatus, the first collection of the renewed CIMIER brand was launched in Europe that same year.

When the QI Group acquired CIMIER, now based in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland in 2006, it facilitated the full cycle of in-house design and assembly of its luxury timepieces, including the collection under the historic brand Bernhard H. Mayer®, exclusively distributed by QNET.

In 2010, Montres CIMIER became the first company to open the doors of the exclusive world of Swiss watchmaking to the public by creating the Watch Academy by CIMIER. It allows participants to personalise and build their very own CIMIER watch, right down to the external watch components such as the colour or shape of the case, dial, handset, strap and clasp. The public will get to bring back a unique timepiece that can be passed down for generations to come.

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Commemorative Numismatic

QI Group’s interests in the luxury business started with our venture into numismatics in 1998.

One of the earliest subsidiaries of the Group partnered with prominent international organisations to distribute their commemorative numismatics sets, making it one of the largest numismatics distributors in the world, in the early 2000s.

Many of these collectors’ items were produced at the historic Mayer Mint in Pforzeim, Germany, which has a rich heritage and is known for having been the mint of choice for European nobility since its inception in 1871.

Our bestsellers in the past have included:

  • The Olympics collections, in collaboration with the International Olympics Committee, which included sets for the Sydney Olympics 2000, Athens Olympics 2004 and Beijing Olympics 2008
  • The FIFA collections, which included the Japan/South Korea 2002 World Cup, Germany 2006 World Cup and FIFA Centennial Commemorative Coin Set
  • The Ayrton Senna Memorial coin set, in collaboration with the Formula One legend’s Ayrton Senna Foundation
  • The Star Wars Heroes and Villains Coin Set, with Lucasfilm
  • Commemorative coins of prominent historical figures created in partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization