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New York—Rolex executive Luca Bernasconi, head of the legendary watch brand’s Canadian operations, has stepped up as the new CEO and president of Rolex Watch U.S.A.

A Rolex spokeswoman confirmed Monday that Bernasconi, former president and CEO of Rolex Canada, took over on Jan. 1.

He succeeds Stewart Wicht, who retired as head of the U.S. market at the end of 2018.

Wicht began working for Rolex SA in Geneva in 1975, serving the company for nearly four decades before being named president and CEO of Rolex Watch U.S.A. Inc. in 2011.

2018 Stewart WichtStewart Wicht has been president and CEO of Rolex Watch U.S.A. since 2011, when he took over following the death of Allen Brill.

Jewelers of America recently awarded the industry veteran the 2019 Gem Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Wicht will remain on Rolex’s board of directors post-retirement.

The U.S. market is arguably the most critical for Rolex, and Bernasconi will be following a man whom many credit with improving the brand’s retailer relationships, elevating its image and, ultimately, increasing sales in the market.

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