Tiffany & Co. engaged in discussions with top Apple executives a few months back, CEO Frédéric Cumenal said during a discussion of smartwatches at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference on Sept. 10.
“We had a discussion a few months ago with some of the top executives at Apple,” Cumenal said, without elaborating. A Tiffany spokesperson declined to offer any further details. An Apple spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. In August, New York’s London Jewelers began selling the 18k gold Edition, the highest-end model of the Apple Watch, making it the only U.S. jeweler to do so.
Cumenal added that initiatives like the Apple Watch may boost the overall category, as they reintroduce young people to timepieces.
“Looking at the young generation, the 20- to 25-year-olds, a lot of them are not wearing watches anymore,” he said. “I believe it is a great opportunity for us to leverage on those [initiatives] and bring attention back to the wrist.”
Whatever happens with smartwatches, Cumenal seemed bullish on the company’s new watch line, saying that early results have been good. But the company will change its marketing to zero in on male buyers.
“We don’t have a solid relationship with men,” he said. “They are critical in the watch-buying decision. Even if it’s a watch for ladies, it is very important to have some endorsement for men.
“We are in the watch business for the long run,” he added. “But it will take years.”
Picture: watches Tiffany & Co.