• The Legion of Honor, France’s highest civilian award, was given to Swiss watch industry veteran Franco Colognifor his activities promoting cooperation between France and Italy, and French values. Cologni is president of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, which runs the annual SIHH luxury watch show, and is a director of Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A., which owns several leading luxury watch brands, including Cartier. The award was presented by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, former president of the French Republic, at the French consulate in Milan, Italy, in June.

  • Swiss watch brand Omega celebrated 111 years in the Chinese market with a Shanghai press conference starring Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman, its brand ambassador—making her first visit to China—and Omega’s new limited-edition of Constellation Iris; a visit to Omega’s luxurious store on Nanjing Road, the largest owned by the company anywhere in the world; and a private dinner where Omega held two silent auctions to benefit UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women. Both of Omega’s Shanghai stores also donated 10 percent of their sales of the Constellation Iris limited-edition to UNIFEM.

  • LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), a leading luxury-products group, in July said its 2006 first-half revenues rose 13 percent, to $8.81 billion, compared with last year’s figures. The Paris-based company’s Watches & Jewelry division had the greatest gain, with 23 percent ($403 million). Among specific LVMH watch brands, TAG Heuer continued its growth worldwide and expansion of its higher-end range (notably Carrera and Aquaracer). Zenith continued to “progress well,” said the report, while Dior successfully launched its Christal watch. In other sectors, Wine & Spirits rose 18 percent; Fashion & Leather Goods, 12 percent; Perfumes & Cosmetics, 13 percent; and Selective Retailing, 7 percent. Based on 2006’s first half, LVMH expects “very significant growth” for the full year.

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