Watchmaker Severin Wunderman

Watchmaker and philanthropist Severin Wunderman, former maker of Gucci watches and owner of Corum luxury watches, died suddenly of a stroke June 25 while vacationing in Nice, France. He was 69. Wunderman was renowned in the watch industry for building Gucci and Corum into premiere international watch brands. Born to Jewish parents in 1938 in Belgium, he evaded capture by the Nazis through a network set up by Belgian priest Pere Bruno, which saved hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust. After World War II, at age 16, he emigrated to America and became a naturalized U.S. citizen. Wunderman entered the watch business in the late 1960s as a salesman. A chance meeting with Aldo Gucci, head of the elite Italian fashion house, led to employment and friendship, and in 1972 Wunderman became the official licensee for Gucci watches. Severin Montres Ltd. made and sold Gucci timepieces for 25 ye

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