Who are the movers and shakers that drive the Swiss Watch industry forward? There are probably 20 contenders but here's our picks for the five most powerful players right now. Each one will play a leading role in shaping the industry in 2013:
1. Nick Hayek Jr. This is probably the easiest choice of because Hayek (pictured above) is the most powerful person at the most powerful watch company in the world, the Swatch Group. The watchmaker produces 80 percent of the Swiss watch industry's movements (mainly via its ETA subsidiary), has a stable of iconic brands (from Breguet to Swatch), and runs more than 1,000 boutiques worldwide.
2. Jean-Daniel Pasche. The head of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH) is leading the fight against counterfeiting and stricter rules for which watches carry the Swiss-made watch label.
3. Johann Rupert. Rupert is chairman and CEO of the Richemont Group, which owns Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, Piaget, Panerai, and IWC, and many other leading brands. The RIchemont Group is second only to the Swatch Group in terms of its sway and influence over the Swiss watch industry.
4. Gian Riccardo Marini. When you are the CEO of Rolex, you are always a top five player. Rolex is one of the world's most powerful brands, likely one of the most profitable, and is the single largest luxury watchmaker. It's also the best known Swiss watch brand.
5. Patrik Ducrey. Ducrey is the head of Switzerland's Competition Commission (COM-CO) which is charged with investigating whether the Swatch Group's plans to reduce movement production for third parties violates the Swiss Cartel Act. A lot of smaller manufacturers who can't afford to produce movements in-house, such as Frederique Constant, are watching how he rules very closely. Ducrey literally has the future of many companies in his hands.
What do you think of our picks? Who did we miss?