By  on December 8, 2008

NEW YORK — Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewelry Co., the joint venture between Compagnie Financière Richemont and Polo Ralph Lauren, tapped Guy Châtillon as chief executive officer.

Châtillon joined from Piaget, where he was international director. He spent 18 years at Piaget, and is widely credited with spearheading the Richemont brand’s expansion. At the Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewelry Co., he takes over responsibilities from interim ceo Callum Barton, who will continue to serve the company as chairman.

Polo and Richemont joined forces in March 2007, creating the watch and jewelry firm as a 50-50 joint venture based in Geneva, Switzerland. Under the agreement, the new firm will design, create and distribute luxury watches and fine jewelry through select Ralph Lauren boutiques and upscale jewelry and watch stores.

In his new role, Châtillon’s mandate is to develop the brand, which is being unveiled at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie watch fair in Geneva next month, into a major watch and jewelry player.

“We are happy to welcome Guy Châtillon to the Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewelry Co.,” Lauren, ceo of Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., said. “His affinity for the luxury market, coupled with his extensive experience in the fine watchmaking and jewelry industry, make him well positioned to lead the launch of our Ralph Lauren watch line.”

Johann Rupert, Richemont’s executive chairman, added, “Guy’s expertise in the watch and jewelry business will be a major asset in his new position as ceo of this important joint venture between Richemont and Polo Ralph Lauren. Guy has contributed significantly to Piaget’s commercial and international development. He is ideally qualified to take the joint venture on to the next stage in its development.”

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