Apple recruits one of the watch industry's most important sales execs

TAG Heuer Aquaracer watch

Apple's recent hires in wearable tech have largely taken place outside the watch industry, which is slightly odd for a company rumored to be making a watch of its own. However, it just addressed that discrepancy in style -- LVMH's watch division has confirmed that Apple has snagged Patrick Pruniaux, TAG Heuer's sales and retail VP, as part of a broader campaign to poach talent from watchmakers. We've reached out to Apple to learn more about its plans, but LVMH group head Jean-Claude Biver tells CNBC that Pruniaux will be working on the "iWatch." Clearly, the team in Cupertino wants someone who can market wristwear to a large audience.

Biver says he's relieved that Pruniaux is leaving for Apple, since the California firm isn't a "direct competitor" to LVMH's luxury-oriented TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith brands. While that's true, the move suggests that Apple may creep on to their turf by marketing its future wearable more like a conventional watch than a phone accessory. If so, that's a sharp break from the approaches we've seen so far -- even the relatively stylish Moto 360 and Pebble Steel are more often pitched to tech-savvy types than the fashion-conscious.

[Image credit: Andreas Knudsen, Flickr]