Long-time head of Swatch’s Omega retires, deputy steps up
Stephen Urquhart, a 69-year-old dual British-Swiss citizen, is resigning his leadership post at Omega but will remain “available for special projects,” the Swiss watchmaker said in a statement.
Aeschlimann, Urquhart’s second-in-command, takes over at the maker of Speedmaster and Seamaster timepieces as the Swiss watch industry is being buffeted by twin forces: low oil prices, hurting Russian and Middle Eastern sales, and slowing Chinese economic growth.
Omega has been among bright spots for Swatch of late, posting strong sales during this year’s Lunar New Year holiday – Hong Kong is the biggest market for timepieces – even as demand for the company’s higher-end watches that include Breguet were sluggish.
Aeschlimann has been vice president of sales at Omega since 2001 and on Swatch’s extended group management board since 2013.
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