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Breitling CEO joins street protest against Russian invasion of Ukraine

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Breitling’s chief executive Georges Kern joined 25,000 protesters on the streets of Zürich last week who were protesting against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a post on his LinkedIn page, Mr Kern shared a video of the peace march.

“At 57 years of age my first protest in the street ever.

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“Yesterday in Zürich — with another 25,000 people — for freedom, peace and democracy in Ukraine,” he said.

George Kern’s video at the protest in Zurich. Click to view on LinkedIn.

There has not yet been an official statement from Breitling about whether it is suspending business in Russia.

The watchmaker has 55 points of sale in Russia, including two boutiques in Moscow and one in St Petersburg.

Swatch Group, LVMH, Richemont and Kering have all said they are suspending activity in Russia and acontinue to monitor the situation closely.

Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of LVMH jewellery and watch brand Bulgari, has said it is likely to become impossible to trade as a result of sanctions on banks and the SWIFT inter-bank payment system.

Mercury, the largest luxury watch and jewellery retailer in Russia, and Breitling’s partner in the country, continues to trade this morning, according to its website.

Mercury has boutiques in Moscow, seven in St Petersburg and five in Sochi representing Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chopard, Hublot, Breguet, Girard-Perregaux, Tudor, Zenith, Bell & Ross, Breitling, Blancpain, De Bethune, Urwerk, DeWitt, Greubel Forsey, Ulysse Nardin, TAG Heuer, Gucci and Channel.

Mercury promotes its Rolex business in Moscow. (Credit: Wikimedia)

Russia was the 17th largest market in the world for Swiss watches last year, receiving exports worth CHF 260 million with a retail value of over half a billion francs.

Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille, have not commented on their position regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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