The luxury conglomerate LVMH, which own brands as diverse as Louis Vuitton and Hennessey, has reportedly lost an executive from its Tag Heuer watch division to Apple. The news comes from the head of watch brands for LVMH, Jean-Claude Biver, who told CNBC that Tag Heuer's sales director left for a "contract" with Apple. Presumably, the executive will be tasked with helping launch Apple's upcoming smartwatch. 9to5Mac reports that its sources say the executive is Patrick Pruniaux, Tag Heuer's vice president of sales and retail.
This isn't the first time that we've heard rumors of Apple's attempts to recruit Swiss watchmakers. In March, the Financial Times reported that several Silicon Valley companies, including Apple, were targeting employees of luxury watch brands. Biver himself had named Apple in March, telling a Swiss publication that "Apple has contacted some of my employees – I saw the emails personally."
It could be a sign that, unlike the Pebble or even the initial Android Wear smartwatches, Apple intends to capture the high-end of the nascent smartwatch market. The latest iWatch rumors have it set for an October launch and it may come with multiple designs and a giant pile of sensors designed to monitor your health.
Update: After 9to5Mac claimed to have uncovered the identity of the executive, Patrick Pruniaux, this article was changed to include that detail.