Amazing but true: We may have found a group of people snootier than diehard Apple fanboys. CNBC reports that Apple has been desperately trying to peel executives from Swiss watch manufacturers away from their current jobs but has had a very hard time doing so because many Swiss watch executives don’t want Swiss watches’ reputations to be “tainted” by Apple.
“For sure they are trying to approach the Swiss manufacturers, but the Swiss have got no great interest in working with Apple – if you are a luxury producer and you cooperate with Apple, you have got a dilution,” Bernstein luxury goods analyst Mario Ortelli tells CNBC. “They do not want to create a device like the iPhone, the iPhone is designed in California and assembled in China – so they don’t want to dilute the value of the Swiss name.”
It seems weird to think that any brand could be “diluted” by being associated with Apple, which is one of the most valuable brands in the world, if not the most valuable. But Swiss watches have a legendary aura on par with French wines, German auto engineering and Finnish mobile app sensations, and they hate the thought of having any outsiders exert any influence over it.
All the same, CNBC reports that Apple finally has snagged a Swiss watch executive to help it with branding its upcoming iWatch: The former sales director of luxury Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer has apparently come onboard to help out with the launch. We don’t think this will lead to a massive influx of Swiss execs fleeing Geneva for Cupertino, but it’s at least a start.