Dec 24, 2013

    Swatch wins $567m award from Tiffany


    SWISS watchmaker Swatch Group has won a lawsuit against United States jewellery group Tiffany & Co over a failed joint venture to jointly design and market luxury watches.

    Tiffany is required to pay Swatch 402 million Swiss francs (S$568 million) under the ruling by the Netherlands Arbitration Institute, Swatch said.

    The case stemmed from a 2007-2011 cooperation deal that Swatch said Tiffany had obstructed systematically.

    Swatch had sought 3.8 billion Swiss francs from its erstwhile partner, while Tiffany had counter-sued for 541.9 million Swiss francs from Swatch. Swatch said the Netherlands Arbitration Institute had rejected Tiffany's counter-suit.

    Tiffany chief executive Michael Kowalski said the company was "shocked and extremely disappointed with the decision".

    The award is more than the US$416 million (S$526 million) in net income that Tiffany earned last year.

    The Swiss maker of Omega watches announced in January the US$1-billion purchase of the Harry Winston watch and jewellery unit. That purchase filled the gap in its portfolio left by the dissolution of the Tiffany collaboration, analysts said.