By Osheen Arakelian
TAG Heuer is one of the most recognised luxury watch brands in the world but in more recent times their shining light has begun to dwindle. So it was of no surprise that last week CEO Stéphane Linder officially stepped down as the CEO of TAG Heuer and was replaced by none other than Jean-Claude Biver, a legend in the world of horology and luxury wristwatches. Although Jean-Claude Biver is stepping in as interim CEO, it is still a very exciting development given his recent work at Hublot. His work at Hublot took the company from near bankruptcy and into a household name amongst sports fans and watch enthusiasts alike, and with the great success of this year’s World Cup, saw the brand step into new territory with their heavily sports-inspired timepieces and partnerships. These included franchises like Juventus, Paris Saint Germaine and the FIFA World Cup.
Jean-Claude Biver is also known for his remarkable work at Omega, which saw him acquire one of their subsidiary brands, Blancpain. Within a few years, he had rebuilt and remarketed Blancpain in his own image using the companies underlying principle of pure mechanical timepieces in an era where quartz was making a significant impact in the Swiss watch industry and was considered the future of watchmaking.
More recently, Jean-Claude Biver took up the mantle of head guru at LVMH’s watch department and is overseeing brands including Hublot, Zenith, Bulgari and Tag. His undeniable history in the world of luxury wristwatches has made him one of the most respected and successful men in the industry so it was only right, considering his already large role at LVMH, that he step in on a more personal level and save the ailing company of their recent decline.
Leonardo DiCaprio with a Link Calibre 16 Chronograph
The most exciting and refreshing change that has been outlined by Jean-Claude Biver is the return to grass roots approach that he is taking with TAG, returning them to the 90’s (When TAG was first acquired by LVMH) and the days of more affordable timepieces that appeal to the everyday person. The evidence was clear when you look at TAG’s positioning and their jump into high-end luxury timepieces including the recent V4 Tourbillon that although a wonderful timepiece, was very out of character to what TAG was originally about. This is why Jean-Claude Biver has stepped in, to take the brand back to what made it so successful and popular back in the 90’s.
It’s sure to be an amazing ride and one that really has me excited to see just what awaits us in the coming years. One thing to consider, though, what will this do to the current second-hand market and those who own TAG watches? Will the value of their products drop in price? What will remain as part of the range and what will vanish? It’s all up in the air at the moment but it does present us with one hell of an exciting time!
For more info, please visit tagheuer.com
Osheen Arakelian – Contributing Editor
Drawing on a lifelong love of horology and a more recent introduction to appreciation of fine whisky, Osheen brought the two together with watch & whisky. He is proprietor of the site, which covers everything related to watches and whisky. In between completing a degree in commercial law and supporting a rich social life, he is out and about attending all the latest watch and whisky events Sydney has to offer. His passion has also taken him around Australia attending a number of events and he hopes to continue his career in the watch industry on a more serious level after he graduates. Read his articles here.