© Written by Rachael Taylor for Retail Jeweller
In the plush surrounds of Lime Wood Hotel, set in the magical pony-populated New Forest, sits Nicola Andreatta, dressed in a crisp, white open-neckled shirt and jeans. The charismatic laughter and congenial hand-waving that only Italians can truly master is on pause, as he considers a question – a question he does not like.
“It was a dark part of our history,” says Andreatta, referring to the blip on Tiffany & Co.’s timeline when Swatch Group struck a licensing deal for its watches. A 20-year arrangement was agreed between the two companies in 2008 to give Tiffany & Co. a greater reach in the watch market, but it ended in bitter divorce just three years later. The Swiss watch giant accused the American brand of “systematic efforts to block and delay development of the business”; Tiffany retorted that Swatch had failed to honour the terms of the agreement. Both sued.
A legal battle began in 2011 and continues to this day. While initial arbitration in 2013 suggested that Tiffany & Co. should be the one to pay out, to the tune of CHF402m (£315.4m), a Dutch court later overturned the ruling. Swatch Group appealed the decision and, in April of this year, the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam reinstated the original damages calculated by the arbiters. Tiffany then issued a statement that read: “We have the right to appeal the Appellate Court’s decision to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands and are evaluating that option.”…
This story was originally published in the September 2017 issue of Retail Jeweller magazine. Continue reading to see magazine layouts and click the link beneath for full-size PDF.
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