TechnoMarine Appoints Jacques-Philippe Auriol CEO

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The Board of TechnoMarine SA has announced the appointment of Jacques-Philippe Auriol as Chief Executive Officer of TechnoMarine SA with immediate effect. Since 2007, Mr. Auriol has been developing consulting business specializing in luxury goods strategy and distribution. … [Read more...]

Claude-Daniel Proellochs Passes Away

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Sources in Switzerland are reporting that former Vacheron Constantin CEO Claude-Daniel Proellochs died in his sleep in Neuchâtel this past Sunday evening following a short battle with cancer. Proellochs headed Vacheron from 1988 until his retirement in 2005. Under Proellochs, Vacheron's annual production increased from 3,500 to more than 15,000 pieces. … [Read more...]

2010: The Year In Review Quiz, Part II

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Once again we look at the biggest and smallest stories of the year. Were you paying attention? As always, the answers appear at the end. Good luck! … [Read more...]

Rolex Romps 7 Million Chronometers in a Decade

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Watch enthusiasts know that when it comes to producing Swiss chronometers, there are the Big Three Brands – Rolex, Omega and Breitling – and then there’s all the rest. Just how big the Big Three are in chronometer production becomes startlingly clear when you analyze Swiss chronometer output by brand over the past decade. … [Read more...]

30 Minutes with Lutz Bethge Montblanc’s CEO discusses the brand’s high-watchmaking ambitions.

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When Montblanc unveiled its Metamorphosis watch at the SIHH watch show in Geneva in January, many believed it would be years before the exotic new chronograph would be ready for market. After all, the watch, with its 567 components, seemed hopelessly complex. The prototype on display was kept behind glass: it didn’t work well enough for a live demonstration. … [Read more...]

Richemont Reports Strong Sales Results

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Richemont has announced that its sales for the five months ended August 31 2010 increased by 37 percent at actual exchange rates. At constant exchange rates and excluding the impact on sales of the acquisition of Net-a-Porter.com in April 2010, sales increased by 22 percent. The Group acknowledges that its results reflect, in part, low sales figures for 2009. … [Read more...]

Cartier Sues Online “Flash” Retailer HauteLook Over Watch Sales

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Cartier has sued HauteLook, Inc. in federal court in Manhattan alleging the Los Angeles-based retailer falsely claims to offer new Cartier goods at deep discounts based on a special relationship with the brand. Cartier's complaint states that it has no relationship with HauteLook, and that the retailer is selling secondhand Cartier watches and other goods as new. … [Read more...]

Switzerland Mourns Its Watch “Messiah”

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Switzerland has responded to the sudden death of Swatch Group Chairman Nicolas G. Hayek on June 28 with a rare outpouring of grief, praise, and appreciation. Hayek, 82, was born in Beirut, Lebanon, but grew up in Switzerland and spent his entire professional life there. Hayek has been a prominent public figure in the country for four decades and one of the country’s most famous and, ultimately, beloved figures. … [Read more...]

Ulysse Nardin, Audemars Piguet Raise Eurozone Prices as Sales Rebound

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Reuters correspondent Silke Koltrowitz interviewed Ulysee Nardin President and CEO Rolf Schnyder and Audemars Piguet CEO Philippe Merk at the Global Luxury Summit in Paris earlier this month. Both men said their sales are increasing, and each has raised Eurozone prices as the Swiss franc strengthens against the euro. The franc has risen about 4.6 percent against the euro this year. … [Read more...]

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Watch Company Financial Results for 2009

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For the most part, the Great Recession of 2009 pretty much mugged corporate sales and profits. In the watch sector, for example, the Bulgari and Movado groups reported red ink for the year. But there were exceptions to the battered sales and profits syndrome. Fossil, for one, had its most profitable year ever. Here’s a survey of the full-year results of publicly traded firms who are watch industry players. … [Read more...]

Richemont Announces Deal to Acquire Online Luxury Retailer Net-a-Porter.com

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Compagnie Financière Richemont SA has announced that it will acquire online luxury retailer Net-a-Porter.com. Richemont purchased a 33% interest in Net-a-Porter in 2002, and in this deal Richemont will acquire the remaining shares. The transaction values Net-a-Porter at about $530 million. Net-a-porter sells expensive women's clothes and accessories, offering collections from more than 300 leading designers. … [Read more...]

Geneva Unconventionals

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Every year, Richemont Group's luxury watch brands, plus a handful of large, independent brands, exhibit their new watches at SIHH in Geneva’s labyrinthine Palexpo Center. This year, 38 small, independent watch brands put on their own show called the Geneva Time Exhibition (GTE) at the International Geneva Conference Center, in the heart of downtown, near the famed Place des Nations. … [Read more...]

Swatch Group Enjoys Rebound in Second Half of 2009

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Swatch Group struck a positive tone in its 2009 financial report as results for the second half of the year were much stronger than the first half, when watch sales were down 16.4%. Watch sales finished the year down 5.5% at a constant rate, largely outperforming Swiss Watch Federation export sales figures for the same period. The Group forecasts improved sales and margins in 2010. … [Read more...]

TIME TEST: The Year in Watches

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For those who may have missed it, this was our featured article last week, and it was so popular, we've carried it over. Say goodbye to 2009 with this WIS quiz on some of the year's top stories. To see how you did, or to ensure a perfect score, scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the answers. … [Read more...]

TIME TEST: The Year in Watches

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Have you been taking notes? We did say there would be a test. Say goodbye to 2009 with this WIS quiz on some of the year's top stories. To see how you did, or to ensure a perfect score, scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the answers. … [Read more...]

Johann Rupert Assumes Richemont CEO Role Effective April 1, 2010

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Richemont has announced that effective April 1, 2010, Johann Rupert will assume the role of CEO, replacing Norbert Platt who will retire at the end of the year for health reasons. Mr. Platt will remain as a director of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA and will act as an advisor to the Group. … [Read more...]

Executive Sweep

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September was a tough month for watch executives, and not just because of the continuing slump in sales. A small army of top executives – three worldwide CEOs, and five U.S. ones – resigned or were fired. … [Read more...]

The Decade that Was

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You can’t see us, but we’ve got our party hats on. This September, WatchTime magazine celebrates its 10th birthday. To mark the event, we’re publishing in our September-October issue (on newsstands now) a 38-page special section on the wild, wacky watch decade that just ended. The bulk of the section is a rundown of the top 10 watch-related stories from 1999 until now. Here’s a glimpse at that top 10 (for a fuller view, you’ll have to read the magazine). … [Read more...]

Swatch Group Sales Beat Industry Averages

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Swatch Group AG’s half-year 2009 financial report sent the company’s shares higher on the strength of sales that outperformed industry averages and an indication that “signs of recovery” are at hand. For the first half of 2009, gross sales for the watch segment fell 16.4% to CHF 1,960 million, compared with export figures for the same period falling 26.4% by value. Swatch Group shares jumped 13% on the news. … [Read more...]

Richemont Results for Year Ending March 31, 2009

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Swiss luxury goods group Richemont has announced its audited results for the year ending March 31, 2009. Overall group sales increased 2 percent, however good growth in the first six months was largely offset by lower sales in the second half of the year. For the group as a whole, operating profit declined 12%. Richemont's specialist watchmakers saw sales increase 4% over the prior year, from €1,378,000,000 to €1,437,000,000. … [Read more...]