U.S. watch industry veteran Franz Brunner has resigned as executive vice president of Egana of Switzerland (America) Corp., whose watch brands include Junghans, Cerruti 1881, and National Geographic. He has set up his own agency, Swiss Trading Partners, in Boca Raton, Fla., and is now a watch business consultant. His successor was expected to be named early this year. Kurt Koblitz, formerly vice president of Egana of Switzerland (America), has also left the company.
In related news, the Pompano Beach, Fla., headquarters of Egana of Switzerland was extensively damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The company has moved to smaller quarters next door.
Swiss luxury watch brand Breguet topped 400 million francs (almost $312.7 million) in sales turnover in 2005, a 42 percent gain and a new record. According to the Swiss press, the Swatch Group, which bought it in 1999, has invested 100 million francs (about $78.2 million) in the brand and its marketing.
Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet had a record 2005, with sales of 300 million francs (about $235 million), a gain of 25 percent. In a related story, the watch company and Maserati, the Italian carmaker, in December signed a contract extending their partnership and naming the watch brand as main sponsor of the Trofeo Maserati Europa car competition, now renamed the Trofeo Audemars Piguet Maserati Europa. The watchmaker remains the official partner of Maserati cars in international competitions. In 2005, Audemars Piguet produced the Dual Time Millenary Maserati timepiece for the carmaker’s 90th anniversary.