Departed Apple Music senior director Ian Rogers will join French luxury company LVMH — the company which owns iconic luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Bulgari — as its new chief digital officer.
Jean-Claude Biver, the watch division president of LVMH — which owns brands including Bulgari, Chaumet, Hublot, TAG Heuer, and others — has revealed that the French luxury conglomerate plans to enter the smart watch space to take on Apple.
Making no attempt to disguise their plans to ride on the Apple Watch’s coattails, Biver said that Apple’s presence “will help create a new class of clients enthusiastic about luxury watches,” who LVMH will target with their forthcoming devices that will start at around $1,600.
Apple is reportedly trying to lure top Swiss watchmakers away from luxury brands in its efforts to build an iWatch.
Jean-Claude Biver, president of luxury brand LVMH’s watches and jewellery division, claims that Apple has tried to recruit staff from his Hublot brand, along with employees from several other top Swiss watchmakers.
“Apple has contacted some of my employees – I saw the emails personally,” he said, noting that none of the individuals contacted jumped ship.