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Rolex Appoints Brunschwig as Chairman in Quiet Change of Guard

A Rolex watch lies on its side on display.
Rolex. (Shutterstock)

Top Swiss watch brand Rolex SA has named Nicolas Brunschwig as chairman, appointing the scion of a Geneva family that runs high-end fashion department stores in a little-publicised personnel change.

Brunschwig was appointed to the chairman role of Rolex SA and Rolex Holding SA in August, succeeding Bertrand Gros, the company said Thursday, confirming a corporate registry filing. The move was earlier reported by Swiss newspaper Handelszeitung.

The appointment represents a changing of the guard at the world’s biggest luxury watch brand as Brunschwig is a decade younger than his predecessor. Rolex, controlled by a private foundation created by founder Hans Wilsdorf, tends to avoid media attention, preferring to let its marketing speak for the brand. The company hadn’t publicly announced the move earlier.

Brunschwig has been on Rolex’s board since 2016 and departed the board of the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation when he was appointed Rolex chairman.

With annual sales of about 8 billion Swiss francs ($8.4 billion), according to Morgan Stanley, Rolex is the biggest Swiss luxury watch maker with a market share close to 30 percent. Headed by Chief Executive Officer Jean-Frederic Dufour, the company produces about 1 million watches a year, including the well-known Daytona, Submariner and Datejust models.

By Andy Hoffman

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State of Fashion 2023
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State of Fashion 2023