Jean-Claude Biver to Head LVMH Watch Division

Jean-Claude Biver to Oversee LVMH’s Watches Division


by Meehna Goldsmith  

Jean-Claude Biver Steps in to Replace Francesco
Trapani to Oversee LVMH’s Watches Division

Since 2011 Francesco Trapani has been the leader of LVMH’s Watches and Jewelry division. After two years, he is transitioning out of the role.

Just two years ago in 2011 after acquiring the brands Daniel Roth and Gerald Genta, Bulgari removed the labels from these brands and folded them into the Bulgari name. This decision was based upon too much fragmentation amid the Bulgari watch offerings. By leveraging the high level movements of Daniel Roth and Genta, Bulgari could raise the level and respectability of their watches while keeping intact the beloved and recognized designs of the historic Bulgari brand—which they intended to become their haute horlogerie offering.

Bernard Arnault, CEO of LMVH, publicly credits Trapani with a successful integration of Bulgari’s watches and jewelry department into LVMH’s portfolio. He was also responsible for LVMH holdings Zenith and TAG Heuer. However, sluggish sales tell a bit of a different story. Still, Arnault intends to keep Trapani on as an advisor in the jewelry division and on the Board of Directors.

Bright Future Ahead

Who will take over the Bulgari watch duties, including Zenith and TAG Heuer? Wait for it. None other than the charismatic marketing genius Jean-Claude Biver, now Chairman of the Board of Hublot, which is owned by LVMH. It’s hard to stay red hot for years and across different brands, but Biver was granted the Midas touch. He successfully ran OMEGA, revived Blancpain and did wonders for Hublot, turning it into a cool, yet respected brand in just about 8 years. Nobody doubts that Hublot’s identity of the “Art of Fusion” was a brilliant move that placed the company securely in the mind and heart’s of the public. Personalities such as Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade and Usain Bolt are just a small sampling of the celebrities with Hublot watches gracing their wrists.

While Biver focuses on elevating the watches in the Bulgari stable and hopefully giving them the stature of Hublot, CEO of Hublot, Ricardo Guadalupe will continue to run the day to day of Hublot. A close personal friend of Biver’s for over two decades, Guadalupe has been working with Biver since 2001 and helped with the renaissance of the company. Once Biver’s consigliore, the able Guadalupe has been groomed to take over where Biver left off and Biver has extreme trust in his protégé. Plus, if bumps in the road arise, Guadalupe has Biver to call upon as the still acting Chairman of the Board of Hublot.

What will Biver achieve with Bulgari watch properties? If nothing else it will be provocative and stunning.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupWatchmaker and wholesale watch distributor Gevril Group is the exclusive U.S. agent for exquisitely designed and crafted European luxury and fashion watch brands, distributing and servicing some of the best affordable luxury, Swiss and fashion watches. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair, staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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