Nicolas G. Hayek, chairman of the Swatch Group, has become such a rock star in the watchmaking world that on the advice of a Swiss judge, Swatch is launching a new line called the Hayek Collection. It's just the latest mark of Hayek's prowess in the industry and beyond. In charge of Swatch since the time it was credited with reviving the Swiss watch industry in the '80s, Hayek has more than a few accomplishments to his name. His most recent projects have been marketing coups. Tokyo's Nicolas G. Hayek Centerwhich Hayek hopes to replicate throughout the worldis a gleaming 14-story home to seven of the company's most upscale brands like Blancpain. In addition, he presided over the first partnership of a watch brand, Breguet, the Swatch Group's luxury jewel, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
When Hayek's son G. Nick Hayek Jr. assumed the title of ceo several years ago, he injected the company with the vigor of a new generation. Armed with a background in film production, Hayek Jr. has parlayed his affinity for the creative into exciting and novel ventures for Swatch. He is overseeing the current transformation of Shanghai's landmark Peace Hotel South Building into the Swatch Art Peace Hotel, a destination for artists where they can also exhibit their work. The sponsorship by Swatch's Omega brand of SolarImpulse, the effort to circle the globe in a solar-powered plane, is another of Hayek Jr.'s projects.
With sales up more than 12% last year and the luxury segment leading the way, father and son, in charge of the world's largest watch company, show no signs of winding down.
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