By  on September 23, 2009

PARIS — High-end Swiss watchmaker Baume & Mercier, a unit of luxury group Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, has appointed Alain Zimmerman chief executive officer following the resignation of Michel Nieto over a strategic disagreement, a Baume & Mercier spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Zimmerman was previously chief marketing officer of IWC, another Richemont unit.

Richemont’s luxury watch operations — which include A. Lange and Sohne, Baume & Mercier, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Officine Panerai, Piaget, Ralph Lauren Watches, Roger Dubuis and Vacheron Constantin — saw sales drop 18 percent in the five months ended August, reflecting shrinking demand for expensive timepieces in the current economic downturn.

The spokeswoman did not reveal details of the disagreement that led to Nieto’s departure.

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