Global auction house Sotheby’s has appointed Laurence Nicolas, the chief executive of timepieces and fine jewellery at Christian Dior Couture, as executive vice president and global managing director of jewellery and watches.

This is a newly created position, with the auction house saying in a statement that jewellery and watches are “of Sotheby’s fastest growing categories”.

Nicolas will join Sotheby’s February 1, 2018, and will based in New York reporting directly to chief executive officer, Tad Smith.


Nicolas will lead the various channels of Sotheby’s jewellery and watch businesses including auction, private sales, e-commerce and retail sales, as well as the company’s diamond venture, Sotheby’s Diamonds.

Nicolas brings 25 years of luxury experience and management of leading international brands to Sotheby’s, joining the company from Christian Dior Couture where she was appointed chief executive officer of Dior Timepieces & Fine Jewellery in 2001. She created Dior’s fine jewellery division in 2001, followed by the timepieces division in 2008. Nicholas has also occupied positions at Cartier, where she was involved in the international retail and marketing operations of the brand.

Tad Smith, chief executive at Sotheby’s, comments: “Our jewellery and watch businesses operate in markets much larger than the art market and this newly-created role has been designed to strengthen our cross-platform strategy and take advantage of the significant opportunity.

“Nicolas’s creativity, energy and experience will no doubt be inspirational for the talented teams she will lead, while also further enhancing our clients’ experience and fostering Sotheby’s growth in these two key areas.”