The launch of the much-anticipated Apple iWatch is imminent as Apple has hired a Swiss watch sales maestro. Apple has just hired a new senior sales director–Patrick Pruniaux, formerly the VP of global sales at Swiss luxury watch brand TAG Heuer. It is believed Apple head-hunted Pruniaux as they bid to enter the wearable technology market this year. Though the Cupertino-based maker of iGadgets has been tight lipped on whether they will be joining the fray with their own brand of wearable computers, rumors have been flying around that the supposed iWatch will be launched this fall.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that news of this corporate acquisition happened on the same day the first Android smartwatch, the LG G Watch, was released. Today, Samsung is expected to release their Samsung Gear Live; and the round-faced Moto 360 from Motorola is set for a yet-to-be-announced release date this summer. By all indications, Apple is itching to join the gravy train with as much momentum as it can muster.
It is not the first time in the recent past that Apple has been in the news for a corporate scoop of a leading executive from the top echelons of the luxury goods market. In October last year the company poached Angela Ahrendts from Burberry, the well known British top luxury fashion house. Three months earlier Apple had brought in Paul Deneve, former Chief Executive at Yves Saint Laurent. Reports are also emerging that the company recently hired a leading software engineer from Atlas Wearables. Atlas is known to be working on a state-of-the-art fitness tracker which can measure a wide range of exercise related data.
The launch of the iWatch is imminent as Apple has hired a Swiss watch sales maestro to add to the company’s roster of executives. While Apple has not let on about its latest corporate acquisition, the same cannot be said of TAG Heuer. The head of watch brands at LMVH, Jean-Claude Biver, has been waxing lyrical about Pruniaux’s switchover to Apple. LMVH is the group which owns TAG Heuer along with other Swiss watch brands Hublot and Zenith. Other luxury goods brands such as Louis Vuitton and Hennessey are also part of the LMVH lineup.
There are many reasons why Apple has seen fit to get a sales whiz from TAG Heuer. With the market still skeptical about the appeal of the smartwatch and other wearable technologies, Apple is angling on selling their products as Swiss made, adding the intrigue and proven quality of precision workmanship to their already established unmatched design and finish credentials. It is a combination that looks marked for success no matter from which angle it is viewed.
It is also arguable that Apple is angling to take advantage of TAG Heuer’s well known brand which extends beyond the exclusive clique of luxury watch buyers, something one cannot say of TAG Heuer’s direct competitors. TAG Heuer has managed to create a conspicuous presence around the world with very smart, targeted and aggressive marketing. They sponsor the British motor racing team McLaren in the Formula One World Championship and use local celebrities for billboard advertisements around the world.
A good number of luxury goods market watchers have speculated that Apple has been trying very hard to collaborate with top-end Swiss watch manufacturers to launch their iWatch as a joint project. However, it seems the watchmakers do not share Apple’s enthusiasm for the lasting appeal of the smartwatch trend. Apple cannot afford to lose too much ground to its Android based competitors and this acquisition serves to show just how aggressive the company may be in presenting a challenge. The launch of the iWatch is imminent as Apple has hired a Swiss watch sales maestro. All reports indicate that consumer eyes will be focused tightly on the company from now until the watch’s expected release in October.
By: Rebecca Savastio