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Apple poaches Swiss watch exec for iWatch launch

Apple has hired the sales director of luxury Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer to help with the launch of their new iWatch, because the technology group intend on using the prestigious “Swiss made” label to market its new gadget, the pinnacle of LVMH’s watch brands Jean-Claude Biver told CNBC.

Biver said the watchmaker’s sales director left as recently as a week ago, “to take a contract with Apple” to be able to launch the iWatch. LVMH owns Swiss watchmakers TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith.

Apple had not been immediately readily available for comment.

The Californian tech company, that will be rumored to become releasing the hotly anticipated iWatch later this current year, has attempted to poach a quantity of employees from high-end Swiss watch makers with very little success, in accordance with analysts.

Apple poaches Swiss watch exec for iWatch launch

Gianluca Colla I Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee assembles a Hublot wristwatch case during the company’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland,

Biver said he was happy for the employee whilst the new role represents an excellent opportunity for him.

“If it had been an immediate competitor, i might have felt a bit betrayed, however, if he goes to Apple I think it is a great experience for him,” he said.

Apple’s intends to hire Swiss watch experts are an endeavor to promote its product as “Swiss made”, which senior luxury goods analyst at Bernstein, Mario Ortelli, said is a label this is certainly similar to quality when it comes to watches.

“For sure they are trying to approach the Swiss manufacturers, nevertheless the Swiss have got no great fascination with dealing with Apple – if you should be an extra producer and also you cooperate with Apple, you have got a dilution,” Ortelli told CNBC.

“They (Swiss watchmakers) don’t want to create a device like the iPhone, the iPhone is made in California and assembled in China – so they don’t want to dilute the worth of the Swiss name,” he said.

Ortelli said Apple’s new product poses a threat into the low-end Swiss watches, but ultimately it is the opportunity for high-end watch brands, because it could create more young watch consumers who can then be introduced towards the watch market.

By CNBC’s Jenny Cosgrave

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