Apple has just hired an executive from Swiss luxury watch maker TAG Heuer to help work on its iWatch, according to a new report from CNBC.
Jean-Claude Biver, the head of luxury brand LVMH’s watch division, said TAG Heuer’s sales director just accepted a position at Apple as early as last week. LVMH owns TAG Heuer among other high-end wristwatch brands.
Biver specifically told CNBC that the former TAG Heuer employee was brought on to work on the iWatch, although Apple has yet to make any official statements regarding its future products. Biver didn’t reveal the name of the employee.
Apple is particularly interested in bringing the Swiss label to the iWatch, which could have been a big motivator behind the hire, CNBC reports. Swiss watch makers aren’t as compelled to partner with Apple, however.
Working with a tech company that doesn’t produce luxury watches could make the Swiss brand seem less valuable, Biver tells 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.
Apple has also snatched up talent in the medical and health fields in recent months, further hinting that a wearable device is in its pipeline. In early 2014, Apple hired experts in blood monitoring including Nancy Dougherty from health startup Sano Intelligence.
The company is expected to unveil the iWatch in October, which is usually around the same time it reveals its new iPads.
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