Roger Dubuis and Former Distributor End Dispute

Swiss luxury watchmaker Roger Dubuis S.A. and its former U.S. distributor Helvetia Time Corp. (which did business as Roger Dubuis North America, Inc.,) have dropped legal actions against each other, that began with a dispute in late 2005. Roger Dubuis S.A. had been without an active U.S. distributor since 2006.

The announcement was made Jan. 17 by Carlos Dias, chief executive officer of Roger Dubuis S.A., Geneva, Switzerland, and Steven Holtzman, president of Helvetia Time Corp., Wilkes-Barre, Pa. In a statement, they said the two companies “agreed to resolve all outstanding issues concerning the distribution of Roger Dubuis products in North America. As part of the agreement, all legal actions pending between both parties will be withdrawn.” Neither side had any further comment about the agreement itself, due to its confidentiality provisions.

However, Helvetia Time won’t be distributing Roger Dubuis products again in the United States. According to a joint-announcement made in September 2007, Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, one of the world leading luxury products groups and watchmakers, agreed to distribute Roger Dubuis watches in some key markets, including the United States and the Middle East.

The dispute between Roger Dubuis S.A. and Roger Dubuis North America began in November 2005, when Roger Dubuis S.A., ended its contract with RDNA for alleged breaches of contract. RDNA has been its distributor since 1999, creating the U.S. market and distribution. Its contract was due to end in 2009, with an option to renew.

The U.S. firm denied the allegations and called it was an “unjust termination” and an attempt by the Swiss watchmaker to take control of business in America. The Swiss watchmaker at the time said it was “restructuring and improving its international distribution network.”

Both filed legal actions against each other in Swiss and U.S. courts in 2006.