Apple Poaches TAG Heuer Exec For iWatch Launch

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Just like everyone else, we have not seen the rumored iWatch. Nor do we know what features it will have when it’s launched in September or October. That, however, will not stop us nor others from spreading the rumors around the device as they come to light. If the New York Times and others can speculate why shouldn’t we?

“Swiss made” Apple’s iWatch?

It’s being reported that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is looking to add the “Swiss made” label to market whatever the iWatch is, this from the head of LVMH’s watch brand Jean-Claude Biver in a recent interview with CNBC. LVMH owns Swiss watchmakers TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith. Biver also confirmed that the watchmaker’s sales director left last week “to take a contract with Apple.”

Not surprisingly and true to form, Apple has failed to comment on the hiring.

Call it racist or call it the truth that makes stereotypes work quite often, Biver even seemed “happy” for the employee.

“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,” he said.

Biver had said in March that Apple had attempted to recuirt horologists from LVMH, but none at the time chose to leave the company.

Analyst response

Addressing the “Swiss made” label, senior luxury goods analyst at Bernstein, Mario Ortelli, had some choice words.
“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, the iPhone is designed in California and assembled in China – so they don’t want to dilute the value of the Swiss name,” he said.

The Swiss seem to think that the iWatch will be a failure given the need for so much power in a small space, but I would point them to the iPhone when it was first released, the fact that I’m writing this on the most beautifully thin, sleek, and powerful computer( iMac) I’ve ever owned as well as Apple’s stock price to argue this imminent failure.

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