Watch veteran Hugh Glenn retires from Cyma USA

U.S. watch industry veteran Hugh Glenn has retired as president of Cyma USA, one of the country’s most successful watch companies, after 40 years in the watch business. His retirement was effective at the end of January. Glenn told JCK he wants to “devote my full time” to expanding the U.S. business of the Sequoia jewelry line, which is owned and sold by his company, Yves K. Designs.

The new president of the Cyma USA/Hugh Glenn Corp. is Claude Guilgot, president of Cyma SA, the Swiss parent firm, which bought Hugh Glenn Corp., Cyma’s long-time U.S. distributor, in 2003. Cyma SA, established in 1862, is based in Le Loche, Switzerland. It was purchased by Guilgot in the emid-1970s.

Aside from Glenn’s departure, there are no other changes in the company.

Michael Sachnowitz, who started the company with Glenn 23 years ago, continues as vice president of sales. Albert Salita, who has been with the company five years, continues as vice president of finance, overseeing daily operations. The company will remain in New York City.

Glenn added Sequoia’s yellow gold textured jewelry with diamonds, by award-winning designer Yves Kamioner, six years ago as an expansion of his watch business. The 18k jewelry retails for $795 to $12,000, with most sales in the $795 – $4,000 range. Distribution is selective. It’s now carried by about 50 U.S. jewelers, but “we keep developing customers, and I know we can expand it further,” Glenn told JCK. He would like to increase distribution to 100 to 150 outlets in the next two years.

Glenn joined the watch business as a young man in 1966, starting with his first job as watch buyer at the Zale Corp. Subsequently, he worked for Baume & Mercier and for Omega, where he was president when he and Sachnowitz, also at Omega, left to co-found the Hugh Glenn Corp. and sell Swiss-made luxury Cyma watches, then unknown to U.S. jewelers. Today, the watch is sold in some 600 U.S. jewelry stores and is one of the market’s successful brands.

Glenn, who has received numerous industry awards, is also long active in many jewelry industry organizations.