PARIS — Swiss high-end watchmaker Breguet has named Swatch Group veteran Lionel a Marca as chief executive officer, making him one of the few watchmakers at the helm of a major watch brand.
A Marca succeeds Marc Hayek, who returned to the post after the departure in 2020 of Thierry Esslinger, who had replaced Hayek as CEO in September 2017. The scion of the Hayek family, which runs Swatch Group, Hayek is also president of Breguet.
Following a watchmaking apprenticeship, a Marca joined Swatch Group in 1992 at movement-maker Frédéric Piguet. The Swiss executive subsequently moved over to ETA, the Swatch Group subsidiary that supplies watch movements, where he helped develop and improve several watchmaking complications.
A Marca has consulted for different companies with the group, namely in the areas of quality control and implementing new production lines. He was appointed to the executive boards of Blancpain in 2004 and Harry Winston in 2014. In 2019, he also joined the extended executive board of the Swatch Group.
“If today Lionel a Marca is one of the rare watchmakers at the helm of a renowned watch brand, then he will undoubtedly be able to steer Breguet toward the brightest of futures on the eve of its 250th anniversary,” said the brand, which was founded in 1775.
Breguet sits at the top of the pyramid of Swatch Group brands, alongside Blancpain and Jaquet Droz. The group also owns brands ranging from Harry Winston, Omega and Longines to accessible labels like Swatch, Tissot and Hamilton.