Audemars Piguet North America has appointed Antonio Seward as chief executive officer.Seward began his new role for the watch firm on Aug. 1, and has relocated to New York from Singapore, where he most recently served as Audemars Piguet’s general manager for Southeast Asia.The executive has also served as Audemars Piguet’s managing director for Latin America and as ceo for Portugal, Spain and France.Seward received his undergraduate degree from Kings College, London, and graduated with a master’s degree in political science.Speaking by phone, Seward noted, “What I want to try to do is be as close as possible to our customers and know our customers. One of the main objectives that the stakeholders of the brand have given us is to know our customers, so that when they are buying AP they are not just buying a watch, they are purchasing an experience and relationship with a very special brand.”Audemars Piguet caps its production at 40,000 watches a year, says Seward, meaning it is “restricted by definition,” making it a rare item to seek out.“The U.S. has a diversity of consumers. Also in terms of age groups I think there is a difference with other markets. Statistically in the U.S. we have a younger consumer, more of an urban consumer, people who are quite engaged in new technology, because we are a very traditional brand yet very modern as well,” Seward noted.The executive declined to reveal the brand’s exact sales breakdown across geography, but noted that “more or less, 20 percent of sales are out of the Americas, with a sizable share of that in the U.S.”The label is currently planning sales activations and events for Art Basel Miami Beach, as well as in satellite U.S. cities including Boston.
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