Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has hired a top sales official from Swiss luxury-watch creator Tag Heuer as the iPhone and iPad producer purportedly gears up for an October dispatch of so called Apple smartwatch. Jean-Claude Biver, head of watch brands at luxury-goods merchandise aggregate LVMH, which considers Tag Heuer as a real part of its subsidiaries.
A later report in Apple-focused publication 9to5Mac referred to an anonymous source in recognizing the new hire as Patrick Pruniaux, Tag Heuer’s VP of Sales and Retail.
The plan, an analyst at Bernstein told CNBC, was to get some help in marketing its watches as “Swiss made,” though the report didn’t mention whether that would involve assembling the product in Switzerland.”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,” CNBC quoted Biver as saying. Biver also told Reuters that Swiss watchmakers would have to keep an eye on Apple.
Tag Heuer apparently considered building its own smart watches as well. Stéphane Linder, the CEO of the company said – “I had my technicians buy some smartwatches to see what they were like, but the interface is not yet that good, and you need to have your phone nearby. And the idea of having to charge luxury watches kills the dream a bit,” says Mr Linder. “At the moment, it seems like a lot of hassle for little benefit.”
It is in a race against Samsung Electronics and Google to turn computers into wearable fashion and must-have items as smartphones, increasingly becoming commoditized items, start losing their appeal.