Haute 100: The Most Influential Men And Women In The Watch Industry



Jean-Claude Biver
Head of Watchmaking at LVMH
President of Hublot

Nick Hayek Jr.
CEO, Swatch Group

Nayla Hayek
Chairwoman, Swatch Group
Daughter of the late Swatch Group founder, Nicolas George Hayek, Nayla Hayek has been on the company’s Board of Directors since 1995. In 2010 she gained the position of Chairwoman. When Swatch Group, owner of watch brands such as Blancpain and Breguet, acquired Harry Winston, she took the reigns as CEO.  A renowned breeder and horse judge of Arabian horses, she gained valuable contacts that elevate the Group’s business and promotional growth in that region.

François-Henri Pinault
CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kering
François-Henri joined the company Kering (founded by his father François Pinault) in 1987 and now holds the title of CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Kering has holdings in many luxury sectors including watches. It owns Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard and recently purchased Ulysse Nardin, a technically trailblazing brand in the space.

Johann Peter Rupert
Chairman, Richemont Group
The reclusive Rupert is the head of the group that boasts the most haute horlogerie brands under one roof, including A. Lange & Söhne, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cartier and a 20 per cent ownership of Greubel Forsey. Together with his family, he is estimated to be worth almost $ 8 billion. In addition to watches, Richemont has diversified into other areas than timepieces with companies such as Lancel and Chloé.


Jacob Arabo
CEO, Jacob & Co.

Jean-Christophe Babin
CEO, BUlgari

François-Henry Bennahmias
CEO, Audemars Piguet

Angelo Bonati
CEO, Officine Panerai

Antonio Clace
CEO, Girard-Perregaux

Nicolas Bos
CEO, Van Cleef & Arpels

Jean-Frederic Dufour
Jean-Frédéric Dufour

Jean-Frédéric Dufour
Rolex, the king of sports watches, placed Dufour into the CEO position in November 2014. Formerly the CEO of Zenith, Dufour was responsible for repositioning and revitalizing that brand starting in 2009. Dufour brings a wealth of experience to the job having worked at several other top brands including Chopard, Blancpain, and Ulysse Nardin. He attended the University of Geneva studying  Commercial and Industrial Sciences.

Yann Gamard
CEO, Glashütte Original

Laurence Graff
CEO, Graff Diamonds

Fawaz Gruosi
CEO, de Grisogono

Ricardo Guadalupe

Ricardo Guadalupe
CEO, Hublot
In 2012, Jean-Claude Biver stepped down as CEO of the company, handing the reigns to his right-hand-man Guadalupe whom he had been grooming for 20 years from the time when they started working together at Blancpain. Having spent his whole professional career in the watch industry and helping Biver resuscitate Blancpain and turn Hublot into a powerhouse, Guadalupe is more than a capable successor.

Marc A. Hayek

Marc A. Hayek
CEO of Breguet, Blancpain and Jaquet Droz
Born in Switzerland in 1971, Marc A. Hayek is the President & CEO of three leading Swiss watchmaking brands, namely Breguet, Blancpain and Jaquet Droz. He is member of the Swatch Group Executive Management Board, responsible for François Golay, Simon Et Membrez, Swatch Group Panama, the Caribbean, Central and South America. Marc A. Hayek began studying at the University of Southern California (USC), USA, in 1988. A few years later, in 1991, he obtained from this University a Master degree in Business and Marketing. In 1992, Marc A. Hayek decided to join the family business and started to work for Swatch in the PR & Marketing department, responsible for Public Relations & Events. Two years later, Certina employed him as Marketing & Sponsor Manager. In 1996, Marc A. Hayek decided to explore new horizons and opened a restaurant on his own in Zurich. He created a new concept of restaurant/cigar lounge with shop offering a large product selection of food, wine and cigars which quickly became a social hub for Zurich’s international community. After this five-year experience, in 2001, Marc A. Hayek joined again the Swatch Group as Marketing Manager at Blancpain. The next year, he took over as President & CEO of the brand, allowing it to undergo a revival. In June 2010, Marc A. Hayek added to his responsibilities that of President & CEO of Breguet, followed a couple of weeks later by his designation as President & CEO of Jaquet Droz. Walking in his grandfather’s footprints, Marc A. Hayek has since then constantly brought the Swatch Group three top brands to the highest level.


Shinji Hattori
CEO, Seiko


Patrik Hoffmann
CEO, Ulysse Nardin
Patrik Hoffmann, an accountant by training, recently became CEO of Ulysse Nardin after the death of owner Rolf Schnyder, who revitalized the heritage brand with novelties such as the Freak watch. After entering the watch industry, Hoffmann worked at different companies before joining Ulysse Nardin in 1999, and rising through the ranks to become Schnyder’s right hand man. After Schnyder’s death Hoffmann took over piloting the company. An independent brand during Schnyder’s reign, the company was recently sold to Kering.

Jean-Marc Jacot
CEO, Parmigiani Fleurier

Pierre Jacques
CEO, DeBethune

Georges Kern
CEO, IWC Schaffhausen
Kern didn’t start his career in the watch business. After obtaining a degree in Political Science and Business Administration, he joined Kraft Foods Switzerland as a brand manager before moving into the watch industry with his position in TAG Heuer’s marketing department. Joining Richemont in 2000, he helped integrate Richemont’s purchase of A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC into the fold. His instrumental work landed him CEO at IWC, the youngest person with the title.

Jérôme Lambert
CEO, Montblanc

Aldo Magada
CEO, Zenith

Philippe Léopold-Metzger
CEO, Piaget

Richard Mille
Richard Mille

Richard Mille
CEO and Founder, Richard Mille
Richard Mille founded his eponymous company in 1999. Before creating his own brand, he worked in the watch world at Mauboussin for five years as CEO of the watch division before taking over as Chairman of the company. With his first watch, the RM-01, Mille brought a new concept to the table with his watches, incorporating into horlogerie the principles and materials of Formula 1 racing and aeronautics. These industries better understood how to increase performance, resistance, rigidity and function and Mille employed them. Mille’s watches proved that a complicated watch could withstand the punishment of high impact sport. His watches are often referred to as racing machines for the wrist.

Sascha Moeri
CEO, Carl F. Bucherer

Vincent Perriard

Philippe-E. Peverelli
Managing Director, Tudor

Jean-Marc Pontroué
CEO, Roger Dubuis

Luc Perramond

Stanislas de Quercize
CEO, Cartier

Pascal Raffy
CEO, Bovet Fleurier

Daniel Riedo
Daniel Riedo

Daniel Riedo
CEO, Jaeger-LeCoultre
When Richemont moved former CEO Jérôme Lambert to Montblanc, it moved Riedo, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Industrial Director, into the position. An indisputable integrated manufacture, Jaeger-LeCoultre boasts hundreds of inventions and over 1000 calibres. Riedo is set to expand the brand’s international reach. He has a background in corporate management and engineering from the University of Geneva and started his career at Rolex.

Carlos A. Rosillo
CEO, Bell & Ross

Caroline and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele
Co-Presidents, Chopard
The brother and sister team of Caroline and Karl-Friedrich run Chopard. The Scheufeles bought the watchmaking company from the Chopard family in 1963. Originally just producing watches, Chopard now includes jewelry that frequently finds its way onto celebrities. Caroline oversees the high jewelry department as Artistic Director and Head of the Creation and Design department, while Karl-Friedrich directs the watch division. He initiated and takes charge of the Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier, Switzerland. Both Scheufeles share responsibilities on marketing, advertising and communication aspects of the brand.

Wilhelm Schmid
Wilhelm Schmid

Wilhelm Schmid
CEO, A. Lange & Söhne

Theodore Schneider
CEO, Breitling

Vartan Sirmakes
CEO, Franck Muller

Thierry Stern
President, Patek Philippe
Thierry Stern, the fourth generation president of the family owned company, took over from his father Philippe Stern at the end of 2009. He grew up at Patek Philippe working in different departments to learn the totality of the business. Stern heads what is considered the most prestigious watch company in the world. It is known for its complications. Famously, in an unofficial competition between James Ward Packer and Henry Graves to own the most complicated watch, Patek Philippe was the company these men sought to realize their dream.

Juan Carlos Torres
CEO, Vacheron Constantin
Torres has been with Vacheron Constantin for 25 years, starting by using his talents in the financial department and the sale of the company to Sheik Yamani, where he increased his responsibilities to learn more about the actual pipeline of watchmaking. During this time the company flourished. When Richemont acquired Vacheron Constantin in 1996, Torres led the integration process as well as the construction of a new manufacture. In 2005 at Vacheron Constantin’s 250th anniversary, Torres was made CEO.

Stephen Urquhart
President, Omega

Alain Zimmermann
CEO, Baume & Mercie


Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff
Former Professional Tennis Players, Longines Ambassadors

Carmelo Anthony
Professional Basketlball Player
Friend of IWC

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant
Professional Basketball Player, Hublot Ambassador
Bryant is one of the best players ever to step onto the basketball court. His career includes 15 titles as an NBA All-Star, two NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic Gold medals and five NBA championships. For his playing style Bryant acquired the nickname “Black Mamba”. Like the snake, Bryant is deadly on the court with his speed and accuracy. He is also part of the team of Hublot ambassadors wearing a watch made in his name, called the King Power Black Mamba.

David Beckham
Former Soccer Player, Breitling Ambassador

Usain Bolt
Sprinter, Hublot Ambassador

Roger Federer
Professional Tennis Player, Rolex Ambassador

Lewis Hamilton
Formula One Racing Driver, IWC Schaffhausen Ambassador

LeBron James
LeBron James

Lebron James
Professional Basketball Player, Audemars Piguet
Called “King James” for his domination on the basketball court, Lebron James has been named an NBA MVP several times and was an Olympic champion in 2008. However, James is more than just an athlete. Forbes magazine picked him as one of the most influential sportsmen in the world. Since 2011 he’s been an ambassador of Audemars Piguet, wearing a large sized chronograph.

Rory McIlroy
Professional Golfer, Omega Ambassador

Lionel Messi
Professional Soccer Player, Audemars Piguet Ambassador

Phil Mickelson
Professional Golfer, Rolex Ambassador
American golfer Phil Mickelson is one of the best golfers on the tour. Though he’s right handed, he golfs left handed, earning him the nickname “Lefty”. With three Masters titles, a PGA Championship and an Open Championship, Mickelson is one of only 16 golfers in the history of the sport to win three out of the four professional majors. He’s yet to win the U.S. Open though he’s been runner up six times. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2012.

Rafael Nadal
Professional Tennis Player, Richard Mille ambassador


Former Professional Soccer Player, Hublot Ambassador
Better known as Pelé, Edson Arantes do Nascimento is arguably one of the best soccer players that ever lived, the only to win three World Cups. In 1999, Time put him on their list of 100 of the most influential people of the 20th century and the International Olympic Committee elected him Athlete of the Century. Just last year he received the FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur as a global icon for soccer. Now retired and giving back as a philanthropist, Pelé has entered the watch world as an ambassador for Hublot. The brand made a special watch for him called the Hublot Classic Fusion Pelé.

Maria Sharapova
Professional Tennis Player, TAG Heuer Ambassador
Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova is one of the greats of the game. She won her first Grand Slam final at age 17 by overthrowing two time defending champion Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final in 2004. That was just the beginning. She sports a mantle full of trophies and holds the honor of being only the sixth woman in the “Open” era to complete a career Grand Slam in Singles. Not only is she a talented athlete, she’s also beautiful. She is the face of several fashion houses including Cole Haan, and she appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Sharapova fits in well as an ambassador for TAG Heuer, whose mottos are to push limits and not crack under pressure. They made four watches inspired by her: an Aquaracer, Formula 1 and two different Carrera models.

Dwyane Wade
Professional Basketball Player, Hublot Ambassador

Gerry Lester “Bubba” Watson Jr.
Professional Golfer, Richard Mille Ambassador


George Clooney
Actor, Omega Ambassador

Felix Baumgartner
Daredevil Skydiver, Zenith Ambassador
Baumgartner took on the challenge of breaking the speed of sound in a free fall in the Red Bull Stratos Mission. Zenith partnered with Baumbartner  as the exclusive timekeeper and sponsor in order to also set a record. The El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th would become the first watch to break the speed of sound. Wearing this watch, Baumgartner went up in an air balloon to reach a height bordering on space, where he plunged into the stratosphere and safely landed with his parachute in New Mexico. The Zenith held up and was still working, literally proving its metal. In honor of this feat, Zenith made the El Primero Striking 10th Felix Baumgartner edition for the public.

Daniel Craig/James Bond 
Actor and Fictional Character, Omega Ambassadors
When an actor plays the mythical superspy James Bond, he effectively becomes forever associated with him. Right now the role of the lucrative franchise is in the hands of English actor Daniel Craig since the release of Casino Royale in 2006. He has the distinction of starring in “Skyfall”, the highest grossing film in the Bond series. Trained at the National Youth Theatre and a graduate of London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Craig began his career on stage before taking on roles in film and television. Since 2002 Omega has been the official Bond watch, creating special limited editions in the Seamaster and Planet Ocean models for the films with the 007 motif. Craig wears a version of these watches when he’s playing Bond.

Diane Kruger
Actress, Jaeger-LeCoultre Ambassador

Stephanie Seymour
Model and Actress, Roger Dubuis Ambassador

Adriana Lima
Adriana Lima

Adriana Lima
Models, IWC Schaffhausen Ambassadors
IWC is primarily positioned as a men’s watch company but they’ve stepped into new territory with the release of the Portofino Midsize collection. The brand hired two former models to team up for a campaign introducing the new timepieces. Brazilian model and actress Adriana Lima, a Victoria’s Secret Angel since 2000 and as a spokesman for Maybelline, ranked 4th on Forbes top-earning models list.


Rafael Alvarez
North America President, Officine Panerai

Mercedes Abramo
CEO and North America President, Cartier

Henri Barguirdjian
CEO and North America President, Graff Diamonds
Founded by Lawrence Graff, the company of the same has staked out a reputation as having cream of the crop jewels in its beautiful jewelry and watches. Unlike other high-end jewelry companies, it prefers a more discrete approach and doesn’t lend out its creations to celebrities during events. Overseeing this lucrative enterprise since 2000 is Henri Barguirdjian. Prior to his post at Graff, he worked at Van Cleef and Arpels, also as the CEO. Barguirdjian received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Education from the Business School of the French Chamber of Commerce in 1975.`

Larry Boland
North America President, Piaget

Philippe Bonay
North America President, Jaeger-LeCoultre

Vincent Brun
North America President, Vacheron Constantin

Edouard d’Arbaumont
North America President, IWC Schaffhausen

Mike Giannattasio 
North America President and CEO Montblanc

Gaetan Guillosson
North America President, A. Lange & Söhne

Pierre Halimi Lacharlotte
General Manger, Montres Journe America

Nelson Lucero
Vice President of Sales and Marketing , Ulysse Nardin

Francois-Henry Bennahmias and Xavier Nolot
CEO Francois-Henry Bennahmias and North America CEO Xavier Nolot

Xavier Nolot
North America CEO, Audemars Piguet

Larry Pettinelli
President, Patek Philippe USA

Jorge Puentes
North America and Mexico President Roger Dubuis

Jean-François Sberro
Managing Director, Hublot


John Simonian
CEO, Richard Mille Americas


Maximilian Büsser
Founder, MB&F
With a Master’s in micro-Technology Engineering, Büsser entered the horlogerie industry at Jaeger-LeCoultre, where he spent 7 years in senior management. From his success in growing the company, Harry Winston tapped him to be managing director of Harry Winston Rare Timepieces in 1998. There he initiated the revolutionary Opus series, a collaboration with independent watchmakers. Wanting more freedom to explore his own ideas, Büsser founded MB&F where he works with different independents to realize his vision of watches that he refers to as machines that just happen to tell time.

Ludovic Ballouard
Founder, Ludovic Ballouard

Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei
Co-founders, Urwerk

Christophe Claret Portrait

Christophe Claret
Founder, Christophe Claret

Philippe Dufour
Founder, Philippe Dufour

Roger Dubuis
Founder, Roger Dubuis
Dubuis honed his craft by working 14 years at Patek Philippe developing high complications and then opened his own atelier in 1980 building new complications for major brands and restoring watches. By 1995, Dubuis was ready to establish his own brand, teaming up with Carlos Dias, a designer at Franck Muller. A full-fledged manufacture developing and producing its own calibres that all qualify for the Geneva Seal, Roger Dubuis sold a majority stake to Richemont in 2008. Richemont continues

Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey
Co-founders, Greubel Forsey

Francois-Paul Journe talks about the qualities of independent watchmaking
Francois-Paul Journe

François-Paul Journe
Founder, F.P. Journe
Journe got lucky when he got first job in 1976 at age 14 with his uncle, Michel Journe, whose restoration workshops in Paris took care of the state and private collections giving him access to historic and important timepieces. In 1996 he opened his own workshops in 1996 called TIM S.A. with clients including Cartier, Breguet and Piaget. Tired of working behind the scenes, Journe decided to design a watch brand under his own name, revealing it in Basel in 1998 with two movements that kept accuracy through resonance. An independent watchmaker who designs and manufactures his own watches, Journe is known for inventing new systems and movements, following the brand’s motto of Invenit et Fecit, Latin for “Invented and Made”.

Carole Forestier-Kasapi
Head of Movement Creation, Cartier
Forestier-Kasapi has the venerable position of head of movement creation, a rare title in an industry dominated by men. She comes with an incredible pedigree. Her mother and father are both watchmakers and she disassembled her first clock at age 6. Her talent was quickly recognized and she landed a job in the high complications manufacture Renaud & Papi, designing movements for Breguet and Ulysse Nardin. In 2008, Cartier debuted its first in-house watch collection and because of Forestier-Kasapi, elevated itself into not just a jewelry house but also an innovative watch manufacture.

Marco Lang
Founder, Lang & Heyne

Dominic Renaud and Giulio Papi
Founders, Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi (APRP)
Dominic Renaud and Guilio Papi loved complicated movements but the big brands wouldn’t let them work on them until they had 20 years of experience. Instead of waiting the two friends founded their self-named manufacture Renaud & Papi in 1986 with the express purpose of working on complicated movements. Audemars Piguet quickly saw their talent and engaged them to work on some of their highest complications. Although Audemars Piguet has bought Renaud & Papi and is now known as Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi (APRP), the Renaud & Papi high complications division continues to develop and make movements for other companies. The majority of their time, however, is spent designing complications for Audemars Piguet branded watches.

Roger W. Smith
Founder, Roger Smith

Andread Strehler
Founder, Andreas Strehler

Kari Voutilainen
Founder, Voutilainen


Rick De La Croix
Chairman of the Mykonian Luxury Group

Mr. Carlo Lamprecht
President, Foundation of the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix

Jasmine and Olivier Audemars
Audemars Piguet Family Members, Board Members of the brand
Jasmine Audemars, the great-granddaughter of Jules-Louis Audemars, holds the position of Chairwoman of the Audemars Piguet Board of Directors since 1992 and serves as the chair of the company’s foundation. Prior to involvement with the independent family business, she worked as a journalist. Olivier Piguet, a great grandson from the Piguet side, first worked with a company dealing with the physics of materials. He joined the family business as a board member in 1997. His says his mission is to make sure Audemars Piguet remains in the Valle de Joux and in the hands of the family.

Maarten Pieters
Director, WOSTEP

 Fabienne Lupo
Chairwoman and Managing Director, Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie

Luxury Watch Trends 2016 - Baselworld SIHH Watch News

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