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It appears that Apple is becoming more open about its plans for the much anticipated smart watch

Apple hires luxury watch company director

JEAN-CLAUDE BIVER

It appears that Apple is becoming more open about its plans for the much anticipated smart watch, the launch of which is rumored to be due this fall – October being the most touted month, as poaching the sales director of one of the most well known luxury watch names in the industry is not exactly cloak and dagger behavior
Apple, as always, is making no comment about any of the rumor and speculation regarding a smart watch device but the hiring of the Yves Saint Laurent fashion house CEO, Paul Deneve and, as we previously reported, Burberry’s Angela Ahrendts, it doesn’t take much imagination to work out what might be going on and most Apple watchers think the iWatch is already in production
Jean-Claude Biver is the head of luxury watch brands at LVMH, the luxury goods company owns subsidiary Swiss brands such as TAG Heuer, Zenith and Hublot and Mr Biver is quoted as saying “Our sales director left yesterday because he took a contract from Apple to launch the iWatch”. Although Mr Biver did not go as far as actually naming the employee who jumped ship, it is widely reported that Apple has hired Patrick Pruniaux and that Jean-Claude Biver has magnanimously said “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.” It has been said that Patrick Pruniaux was not the only LVMH employee targeted by Apple, Mr Biver commented back in March about Apple’s attempts to poach horologists from his company, although Patrick Pruniaux is the only one reported to have made the move – so far
The rumor is that Apple has been seeking partnerships with Swiss watch makers and that it intends to market the iWatch as “Swiss made”, this would give it an instant air of respectability and credibility. It has also been said that some of these expert watch makers have no intention of becoming involved as they are sceptical of smart watches, Nick Hayek who is Chief Executive at Swatch said “To make a smartwatch work you need two hands or voice recognition, which again needs a lot of power, which is difficult in a very limited space.” Not everyone feels this way, Jean-Claude Biver commented “I think it’s very clever if Apple is making an iWatch” adding “And if they would do it, I would really say bravo. Because my feeling is that Apple is not only a technology company, it’s also a retailer and it’s also a luxury brand.” Mr Biver also said in a recent interview with Reuters that “The iWatch will have the same status symbol power as many other Apple products, especially at the beginning. I personally believe it has the potential to be a threat for the industry, and it should not stay with its arms crossed.”
The iWatch is causing so much rumor and speculation, which will prevail – function or fashion? Once again we will just have to wait and see

Special Thanks Financial Times For Providing The Image