ZURICH, (Reuters) – Swatch is to appeal a decision on Wednesday by a Dutch court to set aside a 402 million Swiss franc ($416.67 million) arbitration ruling in 2013 against U.S. jeweler Tiffany. Tiffany was ordered in December 2013 to pay Swatch 402 million Swiss francs in damages over their failed joint venture to produce and market watches. The two companies separately confirmed the decision by the Amsterdam-based District Court that has the power to reopen certain arbitration cases.
The world’s biggest watchmaker said it would appeal against the decision, initiating a legal process which Tiffany said would take at least 18 months.
“The judgment of the ordinary court of first instance is not enforceable and has no material consequences for the Swatch Group,” Swatch said in a statement.
Tiffany said: “Management anticipates that the Tiffany Parties would seek the return of the damages paid by them under the Arbitration Award in court proceedings.”
Their joint venture was intended to last for 20 years and give Tiffany a much bigger place in the luxury watch market. But the partnership did not translate into big business for either company, and the deal ended in 2011.
The companies had sued one another in an arbitration court in the Netherlands, where their Tiffany Watch Co joint venture was domiciled. The case went to arbitration in 2012.