Festina was founded in 1902 as a watch assembler and marketer. The brand was purchased in 1984 by Spanish entrepreneur, Miguel Rodriguez, who already owned the Lotus watch brand. The combined company was known as Festina Lotus SA and administrative offices were relocated to Barcelona, Spain. The company acquired the Jaguar brand in 1989. This mainstream strategy was successful, and Festina reached the mark of 1 million watches per year by 1990 and 3 million by 2002.
Seeking to establish a high-end Swiss manufacturing capability, in 2003 Rodriguez purchased assortment maker Dubois Technique Horlogère (now MHVJ), along with hairspring maker Astral Technologies. In 2008, Hong Kong holding company Peace Mark, owner of STM Holdings (which in turn owned Swiss component makers Indtec, Ineltec, and Soprod) encountered financial difficulties and sold to Rodriguez. Festina Group retained the high-end Swiss portions of the company, now known simply as Soprod, while eliminating the mass-market quartz operations.
Today, Festina Group manufactures watches under the Festina, Candino, Jaguar, Perrelet, L. Leroy, and Calypso brands in a layered holding company structure. Much watch manufacturing is handled by Citizen of Japan, with some higher-end production in Barcelona. However, with Soprod, Festina is a capable Swiss manufacture, able to produce all components of a watch in-house.