Tiffany to build watch offer after Swatch dispute

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Tiffany & Co. is intending to re-build its watch offer once its dispute with Swatch Group has been settled.

According to Reuters, Tiffany & Co. has said it sees big potential in its watch business and plans to build it back up to the level it achieved two decades ago, with about 9% of sales attributed to timepieces.

At present Tiffany & Co. is said to win about 2% of its sales from its watch collection, that has apparently been wound down since it was announced that the brand and Swatch Group would sever their ties in 2011.

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Tiffany’s chief executive Michael Kowalski said at a recent Goldman Sachs retail conference: "We are working very diligently to imagine what our watch business might look like once our disagreements with the Swatch Group are behind us.”

The companies are said to be suing one another in arbitration court in the Netherlands, where their Tiffany Watch Co. joint venture is domiciled. The case will go to arbitration this autumn.

Kowalski said that the option to continue making Tiffany & Co. watches is "a great opportunity for us”.

In March this year WatchPro reported that Swatch had ended the partnership with Tiffany, calling it “necessary action following Tiffany & Co.’s systematic efforts to block and delay development of the business”.

Tiffany has dismissed these claims and has said that it “honoured its obligations under the agreement”.

Swatch Group is said to be suing Tiffany & Co. for CHF3.8 billion (£2.65bn, the amount it claims it lost in developing the watch brand.

Tiffany has filed a countersuit against Swatch for CHF542 million (£377.4m) for compensation. Swatch has said that it will “vigorously contest” this claim.

 

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