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Apple poaches Tag Heuer executive to market Swiss-made iWatch

Hints that device will be available in time for Christmas
Mon Jul 07 2014, 10:02

Apple has hired Patrick Pruniaux from Tag HeuerSWISS WATCH MAKER Tag Heuer has confirmed that Apple has poached its VP of sales ahead of its upcoming iWatch launch.

Tag Heuer holding company LVMH confirmed the news to CNBC, revealing that its VP of sales Patrick Pruniax has left to join Apple.

LVMH CEO Jean-Claude Biver told CNBC that Pruniax likely will join Apple's iWatch marketing department, with the Cupertino firm looking to market its debut wearable as "Swiss-made".

Bernstein luxury goods analyst Mario Ortelli said, "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."

While Ortelli went on to say that Apple's iWatch could pose a threat to luxury Swiss-made watches, Biver didn't think so.

"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.

Apple's iWatch is expected to debut at a launch event in October, likely following the launch of the iPhone 6. There have been many rumours surrounding the device, which reportedly will boast a number of health and fitness sensors, a battery that will "outperform" those of rival smartwatches, and wireless charging support and will be available in two versions - one with a 1.5in display, and one with a 1.3in screen.

The device is expected to be on shelves in time for Christmas, priced between £200 and £300.

Apple has yet to respond to our request for comment. µ


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