Meylan, Georges-Henri

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Georges-Henri Meylan was a leader at Audemars Piguet from 1987 through retirement in 2009, then created MELB Holding, purchasing Hautlence and H. Moser & Cie.

Biography

Georges-Henri Meylan began working at Audemars Piguet in the 1980s, as the company was solidifying its position at one of the top brands in Swiss watchmaking. Just three years later, in 1987, Meylan was placed alongside Stephen Urquhart to lead the brand after the death of Georges Golay. Meylan focused on production while Urquhart traveled to represent the brand internationally.

An internal audit suggested that Audemars Piguet should raise prices, open exclusive stores, and solidify its finances, just as many other brands were combining into major watch groups. Urquhart reportedly disagreed with this direction and left to run Blancpain within Swatch Group, leaving Meylan in sole charge. In just a few years Meylan sold the company's stake in Jaeger-LeCoultre to Richemont and developed more exclusive and high-priced products. He is also credited for moving the brand from BaselWorld to the quieter SSIH trade show and representing it as an exclusive global name.

Meylan retired from Audemars Piguet on January 1, 2009. He soon began consulting with other watch brands, and in 2012 formed MELB Holding to purchase Hautlence from its owners and creditors. After consulting at H. Moser & Cie. Meylan purchased that company, as well as its escapement manufacturing sister company, Precision Engineering. Placing his son Edouard in charge of H. Moser & Cie., Meylan has succeeded in bringing the famous name back with slightly lower prices and quirky marketing.