Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hired the sales director of TAG Heuer, the Swiss luxury watch maker owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (EPA:MC) as the tech giant prepares for the launching of its highly anticipated iWatch.
Jean-Claud Biver, the head of watch brands at LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (EPA:MC) revealed that TAG Heuer’s sales director left the company to join the tech giant during an interview with CNBC.
Biver did not disclose the name of TAG Heur sales director who left the company last week to sign a contract with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to help launch the iWatch.
Technology analysts suggested the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) tried to hire several executives from high-end Swiss watch manufacturers, but failed to convince them. The Cupertino-based tech giant is expected to roll out the iWatch later this year.
During the interview, Biver said he did not feel bad regarding the decision of the sales director of TAG Heuer to leave the company for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) citing the reason that the tech giant is not a competitor.
According to him, he is happy for the sales director because his new role at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) means a great opportunity for him.
“If it had been a direct competitor, I would have felt a bit betrayed, but if he goes to Apple ;I think it is a great experience for him,” said Biver.
Commenting on the latest move of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Mario Oretelli, a senior analyst of luxury goods at Bernstein said hiring Swiss watch experts demonstrates that the tech giant is aiming to promote the iWatch as “Swiss made,” which stands high quality when it comes to watches.
Ortelli opined, “For sure they are trying to approach the Swiss manufacturers, but the Swiss have got no great interest in working with Apple – if you are a luxury producer and you cooperate with Apple, you have got a dilution,” Ortelli told CNBC.
“They (Swiss watchmakers) do not want to create a device like the iPhone,” added Orteli. He explained that the iPhone is “designed in California and assembled in China,” and Swiss watchmakers “don’t want to dilute the value of the Swiss name.”
Furthermore, Ortelli suggested that the iWatch could pose a risk to low-end Swiss watches, but provides an opportunity for high-end watch brands. He explained that the product would create young consumers for the watch industry.