By  on June 16, 2009

PARIS — Swiss watchmaker Zenith, a unit of luxury goods group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is further cutting its workforce as the global financial crisis hits demand for expensive timepieces.

A spokeswoman for LVMH said Zenith has begun consultations with its workforce of almost 220, but declined to provide a specific number because discussions are still ongoing. “We are trying to find the best solution for each employee,” she said, declining to confirm the 70 layoffs indicated by trade union sources.

This is the second round of job cuts at Zenith, after the watchmaker eliminated 24 positions in January by leaving vacancies unfilled.

Zenith, based in Canton Neuchâtel, is the latest Swiss watchmaker to announce layoffs. Metalor, which specializes in precious metals, is to cut 50 out of its 457 jobs in its division that supplies the watchmaking industry, while another watch company, Geneva-based Franck Muller, has cut almost half of its 428-strong workforce.

In addition to Zenith, LVMH owns Swiss watchmakers Tag Heuer and Hublot, French-based Chaumet, Dior Watches and Fred.

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