Haute 100: The Most Influencial Men And Women In The Watch Industry
Head of Watchmaking AT LVMH
President of Hublot
Nick Hayek Jr.
CEO, Swatch Group
Chairwoman, Swatch Group
Daughter of the late Swatch Group founder, Nicolas George Hayek, Nayla Hayek has been on the company’s Board of Directors since 1995. In 2010 she gained the position of Chairwoman. When Swatch Group, owner of watch brands such as Blancpain and Breguet, acquired Harry Winston, she took the reigns as CEO. A renowned breeder and horse judge of Arabian horses, she gained valuable contacts that elevate the Group’s business and promotional growth in that region.
CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kering
François-Henri joined the company Kering (founded by his father François Pinault) in 1987 and now holds the title of CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Kering has holdings in many luxury sectors including watches. It owns Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard and recently purchased Ulysse Nardin, a technically trailblazing brand in the space.
Johann Peter Rupert
Chairman, Richemont Group
The reclusive Rupert is the head of the group that boasts the most haute horlogerie brands under one roof, including A. Lange & Söhne, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cartier and a 20 per cent ownership of Greubel Forsey. Together with his family, he is estimated to be worth almost $ 8 billion. In addition to watches, Richemont has diversified into other areas than timepieces with companies such as Lancel and Chloé.
CEO, Jacob & Co.
CEO, Audemars Piguet
CEO, Officine Panerai
CEO, Van Cleef & Arpels
Rolex, the king of sports watches, placed Dufour into the CEO position in November 2014. Formerly the CEO of Zenith, Dufour was responsible for repositioning and revitalizing that brand starting in 2009. Dufour brings a wealth of experience to the job having worked at several other top brands including Chopard, Blancpain, and Ulysse Nardin. He attended the University of Geneva studying Commercial and Industrial Sciences.
CEO, Glashütte Original
CEO, Graff Diamonds
CEO, de Grisogono
In 2012, Jean-Claude Biver stepped down as CEO of the company, handing the reigns to his right-hand-man Guadalupe whom he had been grooming for 20 years from the time when they started working together at Blancpain. Having spent his whole professional career in the watch industry and helping Biver resuscitate Blancpain and turn Hublot into a powerhouse, Guadalupe is more than a capable successor.
Mark A. Hayek
CEO, Blancpain, Breguet and Jaquet Droz
CEO, Ulysse Nardin
Patrik Hoffmann, an accountant by training, recently became CEO of Ulysse Nardin after the death of owner Rolf Schnyder, who revitalized the heritage brand with novelties such as the Freak watch. After entering the watch industry, Hoffmann worked at different companies before joining Ulysse Nardin in 1999, and rising through the ranks to become Schnyder’s right hand man. After Schnyder’s death Hoffmann took over piloting the company. An independent brand during Schnyder’s reign, the company was recently sold to Kering.
CEO, Parmigiani Fleurier
CEO, IWC Schaffhausen
Kern didn’t start his career in the watch business. After obtaining a degree in Political Science and Business Administration, he joined Kraft Foods Switzerland as a brand manager before moving into the watch industry with his position in TAG Heuer’s marketing department. Joining Richemont in 2000, he helped integrate Richemont’s purchase of A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC into the fold. His instrumental work landed him CEO at IWC, the youngest person with the title.
CEO and Founder, Richard Mille
Richard Mille founded his eponymous company in 1999. Before creating his own brand, he worked in the watch world at Mauboussin for five years as CEO of the watch division before taking over as Chairman of the company. With his first watch, the RM-01, Mille brought a new concept to the table with his watches, incorporating into horlogerie the principles and materials of Formula 1 racing and aeronautics. These industries better understood how to increase performance, resistance, rigidity and function and Mille employed them. Mille’s watches proved that a complicated watch could withstand the punishment of high impact sport. His watches are often referred to as racing machines for the wrist.
CEO, Carl F. Bucherer
Managing Director, Tudor
CEO, Roger Dubuis
CEO, RALPH LAUREN WATCHES AND JEWELRY
Stanislas de Quercize
CEO, Bovet Fleurier
When Richemont moved former CEO Jérôme Lambert to Montblanc, it moved Riedo, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Industrial Director, into the position. An indisputable integrated manufacture, Jaeger-LeCoultre boasts hundreds of inventions and over 1000 calibres. Riedo is set to expand the brand’s international reach. He has a background in corporate management and engineering from the University of Geneva and started his career at Rolex.
Carlos A. Rosillo
CEO, Bell & Ross
Caroline and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele
The brother and sister team of Caroline and Karl-Friedrich run Chopard. The Scheufeles bought the watchmaking company from the Chopard family in 1963. Originally just producing watches, Chopard now includes jewelry that frequently finds its way onto celebrities. Caroline oversees the high jewelry department as Artistic Director and Head of the Creation and Design department, while Karl-Friedrich directs the watch division. He initiated and takes charge of the Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier, Switzerland. Both Scheufeles share responsibilities on marketing, advertising and communication aspects of the brand.
CEO, A. Lange & Söhne
CEO, Franck Muller
President, Patek Philippe
Thierry Stern, the fourth generation president of the family owned company, took over from his father Philippe Stern at the end of 2009. He grew up at Patek Philippe working in different departments to learn the totality of the business. Stern heads what is considered the most prestigious watch company in the world. It is known for its complications. Famously, in an unofficial competition between James Ward Packer and Henry Graves to own the most complicated watch, Patek Philippe was the company these men sought to realize their dream.
Juan Carlos Torres
CEO, Vacheron Constantin
Torres has been with Vacheron Constantin for 25 years, starting by using his talents in the financial department and the sale of the company to Sheik Yamani, where he increased his responsibilities to learn more about the actual pipeline of watchmaking. During this time the company flourished. When Richemont acquired Vacheron Constantin in 1996, Torres led the integration process as well as the construction of a new manufacture. In 2005 at Vacheron Constantin’s 250th anniversary, Torres was made CEO.
CEO, Baume & Mercie
Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff
Former Professional Tennis Players, Longines Ambassadors
Professional Basketlball Player
Friend of IWC
Professional Basketball Player, Hublot Ambassador
Bryant is one of the best players ever to step onto the basketball court. His career includes 15 titles as an NBA All-Star, two NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic Gold medals and five NBA championships. For his playing style Bryant acquired the nickname “Black Mamba”. Like the snake, Bryant is deadly on the court with his speed and accuracy. He is also part of the team of Hublot ambassadors wearing a watch made in his name, called the King Power Black Mamba.
Former Soccer Player, Breitling Ambassador
Sprinter, Hublot Ambassador
Professional Tennis Player, Rolex Ambassador
Formula One Racing Driver, IWC Schaffhausen Ambassador
Professional Basketball Player, Audemars Piguet
Called “King James” for his domination on the basketball court, Lebron James has been named an NBA MVP several times and was an Olympic champion in 2008. However, James is more than just an athlete. Forbes magazine picked him as one of the most influential sportsmen in the world. Since 2011 he’s been an ambassador of Audemars Piguet, wearing a large sized chronograph.
Professional Golfer, Omega Ambassador
Professional Soccer Player, Audemars Piguet Ambassador
Professional Golfer, Rolex Ambassador
American golfer Phil Mickelson is one of the best golfers on the tour. Though he’s right handed, he golfs left handed, earning him the nickname “Lefty”. With three Masters titles, a PGA Championship and an Open Championship, Mickelson is one of only 16 golfers in the history of the sport to win three out of the four professional majors. He’s yet to win the U.S. Open though he’s been runner up six times. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2012.
Professional Tennis Player, Richard Mille ambassador
Former Professional Soccer Player, Hublot Ambassador
Better known as Pelé, Edson Arantes do Nascimento is arguably one of the best soccer players that ever lived, the only to win three World Cups. In 1999, Time put him on their list of 100 of the most influential people of the 20th century and the International Olympic Committee elected him Athlete of the Century. Just last year he received the FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur as a global icon for soccer. Now retired and giving back as a philanthropist, Pelé has entered the watch world as an ambassador for Hublot. The brand made a special watch for him called the Hublot Classic Fusion Pelé.
Professional Tennis Player, TAG Heuer Ambassador
Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova is one of the greats of the game. She won her first Grand Slam final at age 17 by overthrowing two time defending champion Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final in 2004. That was just the beginning. She sports a mantle full of trophies and holds the honor of being only the sixth woman in the “Open” era to complete a career Grand Slam in Singles. Not only is she a talented athlete, she’s also beautiful. She is the face of several fashion houses including Cole Haan, and she appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Sharapova fits in well as an ambassador for TAG Heuer, whose mottos are to push limits and not crack under pressure. They made four watches inspired by her: an Aquaracer, Formula 1 and two different Carrera models.
Professional Basketball Player, Hublot Ambassador
Gerry Lester “Bubba” Watson Jr.
Professional Golfer, Richard Mille Ambassador
Actor, Omega Ambassador
Daredevil Skydiver, Zenith Ambassador
Baumgartner took on the challenge of breaking the speed of sound in a free fall in the Red Bull Stratos Mission. Zenith partnered with Baumbartner as the exclusive timekeeper and sponsor in order to also set a record. The El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th would become the first watch to break the speed of sound. Wearing this watch, Baumgartner went up in an air balloon to reach a height bordering on space, where he plunged into the stratosphere and safely landed with his parachute in New Mexico. The Zenith held up and was still working, literally proving its metal. In honor of this feat, Zenith made the El Primero Striking 10th Felix Baumgartner edition for the public.
Daniel Craig/James Bond
Actor and Fictional Character, Omega Ambassadors
When an actor plays the mythical superspy James Bond, he effectively becomes forever associated with him. Right now the role of the lucrative franchise is in the hands of English actor Daniel Craig since the release of Casino Royale in 2006. He has the distinction of starring in “Skyfall”, the highest grossing film in the Bond series. Trained at the National Youth Theatre and a graduate of London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Craig began his career on stage before taking on roles in film and television. Since 2002 Omega has been the official Bond watch, creating special limited editions in the Seamaster and Planet Ocean models for the films with the 007 motif. Craig wears a version of these watches when he’s playing Bond.
Actress, Jaeger-LeCoultre Ambassador
Model and Actress, Roger Dubuis Ambassador
Adriana Lima and Karolina Kurkova
Models, IWC Schaffhausen Ambassadors
IWC is primarily positioned as a men’s watch company but they’ve stepped into new territory with the release of the Portofino Midsize collection. The brand hired two former models to team up for a campaign introducing the new timepieces. Brazilian model and actress Adriana Karolina, a Victoria’s Secret Angel since 2000 and as a spokesman for Maybelline, ranked 4th on Forbes top-earning models list. Her counterpart, Karolina Kurkiva, is also a Victoria’s Secret Angel and actress. Also a top earner in the category, she came in 6th on Forbes annual list of the highest-earning models.
NORTH AMERICAN LEADERS
North America President, Officine Panerai
CEO and North America President, Cartier
CEO and North America President, Graff Diamonds
Founded by Lawrence Graff, the company of the same has staked out a reputation as having cream of the crop jewels in its beautiful jewelry and watches. Unlike other high-end jewelry companies, it prefers a more discrete approach and doesn’t lend out its creations to celebrities during events. Overseeing this lucrative enterprise since 2000 is Henri Barguirdjian. Prior to his post at Graff, he worked at Van Cleef and Arpels, also as the CEO. Barguirdjian received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Education from the Business School of the French Chamber of Commerce in 1975.`
North America President, Piaget
North America President, Jaeger-LeCoultre
North America President, Vacheron Constantin
North America President, IWC Schaffhausen
North America President and CEO Montblanc
North America President, A. Lange & Söhne
Pierre Halimi Lacharlotte
General Manger, Montres Journe America
Vice President of Sales and Marketing , Ulysse Nardin
North America CEO, Audemars Piguet
President, Patek Philippe USA
North America and Mexico President Roger Dubuis
Managing Director, Hublot
CEO, Richard Mille Americas
With a Master’s in micro-Technology Engineering, Büsser entered the horlogerie industry at Jaeger-LeCoultre, where he spent 7 years in senior management. From his success in growing the company, Harry Winston tapped him to be managing director of Harry Winston Rare Timepieces in 1998. There he initiated the revolutionary Opus series, a collaboration with independent watchmakers. Wanting more freedom to explore his own ideas, Büsser founded MB&F where he works with different independents to realize his vision of watches that he refers to as machines that just happen to tell time.
Founder, Ludovic Ballouard
Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei
Founder, Christophe Claret
Founder, Philippe Dufour
Founder, Roger Dubuis
Dubuis honed his craft by working 14 years at Patek Philippe developing high complications and then opened his own atelier in 1980 building new complications for major brands and restoring watches. By 1995, Dubuis was ready to establish his own brand, teaming up with Carlos Dias, a designer at Franck Muller. A full-fledged manufacture developing and producing its own calibres that all qualify for the Geneva Seal, Roger Dubuis sold a majority stake to Richemont in 2008. Richemont continues
Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey
Co-founders, Greubel Forsey
Founder, F.P. Journe
Journe got lucky when he got first job in 1976 at age 14 with his uncle, Michel Journe, whose restoration workshops in Paris took care of the state and private collections giving him access to historic and important timepieces. In 1996 he opened his own workshops in 1996 called TIM S.A. with clients including Cartier, Breguet and Piaget. Tired of working behind the scenes, Journe decided to design a watch brand under his own name, revealing it in Basel in 1998 with two movements that kept accuracy through resonance. An independent watchmaker who designs and manufactures his own watches, Journe is known for inventing new systems and movements, following the brand’s motto of Invenit et Fecit, Latin for “Invented and Made”.
Head of Movement Creation, Cartier
Forestier-Kasapi has the venerable position of head of movement creation, a rare title in an industry dominated by men. She comes with an incredible pedigree. Her mother and father are both watchmakers and she disassembled her first clock at age 6. Her talent was quickly recognized and she landed a job in the high complications manufacture Renaud & Papi, designing movements for Breguet and Ulysse Nardin. In 2008, Cartier debuted its first in-house watch collection and because of Forestier-Kasapi, elevated itself into not just a jewelry house but also an innovative watch manufacture.
Founder, Lang & Heyne
Dominic Renaud and Giulio Papi
Founders, Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi (APRP)
Dominic Renaud and Guilio Papi loved complicated movements but the big brands wouldn’t let them work on them until they had 20 years of experience. Instead of waiting the two friends founded their self-named manufacture Renaud & Papi in 1986 with the express purpose of working on complicated movements. Audemars Piguet quickly saw their talent and engaged them to work on some of their highest complications. Although Audemars Piguet has bought Renaud & Papi and is now known as Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi (APRP), the Renaud & Papi high complications division continues to develop and make movements for other companies. The majority of their time, however, is spent designing complications for Audemars Piguet branded watches.
Roger W. Smith
Founder, Roger Smith
Founder, Andreas Strehler
Rick De La Croix
Chairman of the Mykonian Luxury Group
Mr. Carlo Lamprecht
President, Foundation of the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix
Jasmine and Olivier Audemars
Audemars Piguet Family Members, Board Members of the brand
Jasmine Audemars, the great-granddaughter of Jules-Louis Audemars, holds the position of Chairwoman of the Audemars Piguet Board of Directors since 1992 and serves as the chair of the company’s foundation. Prior to involvement with the independent family business, she worked as a journalist. Olivier Piguet, a great grandson from the Piguet side, first worked with a company dealing with the physics of materials. He joined the family business as a board member in 1997. His says his mission is to make sure Audemars Piguet remains in the Valle de Joux and in the hands of the family.
Chairwoman and Managing Director, Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie