Apple has yet to release a watch, but it’s already making enemies in the luxury watch market.
Jean-Claude Biver, The president of the watch and jewellery division of conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, says Apple is trying to poach employees that work on his Swiss watch subsidiary, Hublot.
According to the FT, Biver said, “Apple has contacted some of my employees — I saw the emails personally.” He also says none of his employees have left to work at Apple.
The CEO of Swatch, Nick Hayek, tells the FT, “We have been in discussions — not ever initiated by us — with practically all players in smart wearables up until today … However, we see no reason why we should enter into any partnership agreement.”
It’s a somewhat odd stance for Swatch to take. With Google making Android Wear an open operating system, it would make sense for Swatch to make a nice Android watch. Swatch is the biggest watchmaker by sales, says the FT, so it’s not like it’s a choosy, niche brand.
As for Apple supposedly poaching Hubolt employees, that’s somewhat interesting.
We really have no idea what Apple is thinking for the iWatch. Apple is a premium brand, so it would make sense that it wants to hire designers from luxury watch makers.