Rolex Confirms Zenith CEO Jean-Frédéric Dufour Headed to Rolex

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Jean-Frédéric Dufour at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, where Zenith’s El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th Tribute to Felix Baumgartner won the prize for Best Sports Watch

Rolex has officially confirmed this week’s biggest news story. Jean-Frédéric Dufour, the CEO of Zenith, is headed to Rolex.

A statement released by the manufacture on Tuesday morning reads, “Rolex confirms the arrival of Jean-Frédéric Dufour, current CEO of Zénith, to ROLEX SA to take over the direction at a date still to be determined, and in agreement with the company’s standing CEO, Gian Riccardo Marini. All other communication will be released in due course.”

Felix Baumgartner & ZENITH Watches Host Evening At Lavo NYC
Jean-Frédéric Dufour and Zenith ambassador Felix Baumgartner

The news was first broken by Business Montres and was confirmed by Jean-Claude Biver, the Head of the Watches Division of the LVMH Group and Hublot Chairman. Appearing on a Swiss television program this weekend, Biver said, “It’s incredible for him. He’s taking his place on the throne of Swiss watchmaking.”

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Jean-Frédéric Dufour poses with actor Jared Leto

Switzerland’s newspaper Le Temps also corroborated the news with a ‘highly-placed source’ within Rolex on Monday. According to Le Temps, the appointment happened quite quickly. Biver said he was informed this weekend, while Rolex employees were reportedly informed of the news this morning.

Dufour will become the fourth CEO to lead Rolex since 2008, following in the footsteps of Gian Riccardo Marini, who has held the post since 2011.

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Jean-Frédéric Dufour and Jean-Claude Biver at an event during Baselworld 2014
No doubt we’ll be hearing more about this in the days to come, so stay tuned!

Photo credit: Haute Time. Additional photos courtesy Zenith.

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