Top management appointments were announced at two leading Swiss-made watch brands in June.
Jean-Claude Biver, a veteran of the Swiss luxury watch industry, has been named executive managing director of Hublot, an innovative Swiss luxury brand. He also joined the company’s board of directors. He previously was a top official with the Swatch Group, the world’s largest watchmaker.
Biver made his mark in Swiss watchmaking with his work at Audemars Piguet. In 1983, he bought the venerable Swiss brand Blancpain (founded in 1735), which he relaunched and established as a leader in very high end watches. In 1992, Biver sold Blancpain to the Swatch Group but remained president until early 2002. He also led the Group’s upscale Omega brand and served on the Group’s board, where he was co-responsible for Swatch Group operations in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Geneva-based MDM is one of the few independent family-owned Swiss watch firms. Its innovative Hublot watch has long been popular with celebrities, royalty, and affluent watch consumers. It caused a sensation when it debuted in 1983, not only for its porthole shape (“hublot” in French) but for putting the precious-metal watch on its signature black natural rubber strap (vanilla-scented), a style that other upscale brands only now are copying.
MDM produces 15,000 Hublot watches annually. Major markets include Spain, Italy, and the United States.
Jeffrey A. Cohen has been appointed to the newly created position of president, Movado and ESQ for the Americas. Cohen reports to Efraim Grinberg, chief executive officer of Movado Group Inc., located in Paramus, N.J. In his new role, Cohen oversees sales and marketing for Movado and ESQ watch brands in the United States, Canada, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
Cohen joined the company in 1983. He was named regional vice president of sales for chain and department stores in 1986, and vice president of national accounts in 1987. In 1990, Cohen was named Movado’s vice president of sales and in 1994, senior vice president, and in 2000 was promoted to president, North America, for Movado.
The Movado Group designs, manufactures, and distributes Movado, Ebel, Concord, ESQ, Coach, and Tommy Hilfiger watches worldwide and operates Movado boutiques and company stores in the United States.