Yurman opens Swiss watch company

American jewelry designer and watchmaker David Yurman this month opened David Yurman SA, a new subsidiary located in La Chaux-de-Fonds, in the canton of Neuchatel, Switzerland, a center of Swiss watchmaking.

The new 2,100-sq.-ft. facility, including three watchmakers, will produce Swiss-made David Yurman luxury watches as well as control the brand’s technical development and distribution. It also will be the headquarters for the designer’s growing European operations, and is the next step, he told JCK, in making “David Yurman” a global brand.

Yurman added watches to his jewelry collections in the mid-1990s and debuted his Thoroughbred watches for men and women at the 1999 international Basel watch and jewelry fair in Basel, Switzerland. Today, his watch business generates about $20 million a year (out of the company’s total $450 million annual sales). Yurman-designed watches range in price from $1,200 to $18,000.

In addition to Yurman and his wife and partner Sybil, the April 1 opening ceremony featured Alpaslan Korkmaz, director of economic development for the Canton of Neuchatel; Charles Augsburger, president of the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds; and Bernard Soguel, minister of economy for the Neuchatel government.

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