CEO Of IWC To Visit UAE In September

Published: Thu Aug 25 2005

Georges Kern, CEO of International Watch Company (IWC), one of the world’s foremost luxury watch brands will be visiting the UAE from September 4 to 7 to announce the company’s future plans for the regional market.

"Mr. Kern's visit to the UAE forms part of a larger initiative by the IWC to promote the company and its range throughout the Middle East and demonstrates our commitment to our regional partners and retailers in developing the market," said IWC Brand Manager, Gianfranco D’Attis.

He noted that the UAE and Dubai in particular has a bustling commercial life. "One area where this is especially evident is that the emirate has the unique distinction of serving a regional and tourist market rather than a purely local market," observed Mr. D’Attis.

As an open port with low import duties, Dubai’s retail prices are equitable and the variety of products available matches that of any other major international city. In particular, UAE’s residents enjoy tax-free salaries and incomes that are among the highest in the world, so there is plenty of scope for this niche luxury sector.

According to a recent proprietary watch retailer survey conducted by Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, sales of luxury watches in the region are set to accelerate driven by strong sales from some of the best-performing brands in the industry.

Georges Kern is the tenth leader in the long history of IWC. At the beginning of 2002, ten years after he put on his first IWC, he was appointed as the new CEO.

Born in 1965 to the renowned Düsseldorf jeweller, René Kern, Georges Kern grew up in a home with two languages - a French father and a German mother. He was surrounded by the world of jewellery, gems and luxury watches. After his youth on the Rhine, he studied politics in Strasbourg and then business management in Swiss St. Gallen.

IWC was established in 1868 by an American engineer from Boston, named Florentine Ariosto Jones. The company was one of the first watch manufacturers to recognize the potential of the new and increasingly fashionable wristwatch.

The special position of IWC is rooted not only in history, but also in geography. It remains the only watch factory in East Switzerland to this day. The IWC factory on the Rhine is situated far from the watchmaking centres of West Switzerland.

Leading impulses for the mechanical watch come from IWC. With its 390 employees, the company manufactures these sought-after pieces. Since the year 2000 IWC has belonged to the watch division of Richemont SA.


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