Meet President Rick De La Croix
Graduate of the International Business Development program at University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, Rick De La Croix has over 20 years of experience in managing international luxury brands at the entrepreneurial and corporate levels.
Mr. De La Croix believes that true luxury watches like Hublot possess precision and arresting beauty that is beating back the assault, domestic and foreign, of mediocre and imitation timepiece brands.
Rick de la Croix got his start in the watch business working for Tag Heuer in Geneva right out of school. Mr. De La Croix later worked for The Dixie Group, which owned Zenith at the time. Born in the UK to an English mother and a Swiss father, Mr. De la Croix originally had his heart set on becoming a professional soccer player. After university, Rick got into the watch industry by accident, going to work for the marketing branch of TAG Heuer. After stints at Zodiac and Corum, De La Croix gained vast experience in all things watches.
It wasn’t long before de la Croix took things to the next level, establishing his own distribution company DLC Trading (now the Myconian Luxury Group). In 1992, Rick de la Croix made the life-altering decision to take a sabbatical and head to South America. There the adventurous Englishman met his future wife Martha. He returned to Switzerland to work for Corum after his year on sabbatical, but he was eventually pulled by love back to Colombia to set up his own distribution company in 1997.
“I wanted to get into a market that was undeveloped, that was challenging, where luxury brands had stayed away from,” De La Croix explains, “I chose Latin America, and I went down to Colombia and set up my company there. At the same time I fell in love with and married a beautiful woman who is now the mother of my children.”
There, Pieric De La Croix set up and managed Latin American distributions for the jewelry and watch divisions of the Versace and Gucci groups. For the Hublot watch brand–known for arresting beauty and sophistication–he served as a founding distributor partner, working closely with the brand’s owner and CEO, Jean Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe respectively.
It was the beginning of the vast distribution network that made Rick DeLa Croix the tremendous success he is today. His cache of brands include Hublot, HYT, Romaine Zenith and Graham, which De La Croix is partial to, due to its English origin. “Some people say that is where watch-making really started,” he says with a wink.
For Hublot, Pieric or “Rick” established a number of sports marketing projects, notably Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, Diego Maradona, the World Boxing Council, and the Mexican football federations. You may find Rick de la Croix’s name as Rick dela Croix, Pieric De La Croix, Pieric “Rick” De La Croix. His friends and colleagues call him “Rick”.
Today, Rick is the CEO of Ares Distributors, Inc. They have headquartered in the heart of Coconut Grove, Miami. Ares Distributors operates in the USA, Latin America, and the Caribbean through a network of dedicated sales, marketing, and customer service professionals. For ten years, the team has helped to build the presence of luxury brands through quality sales and after-sales service, groundbreaking and innovative marketing, and retailer support. Ares Distributors continues to expand, as the luxury timepieces represented by Ares have reached unprecedented levels of demand in Latin America, USA, and the Caribbean. Ares Distributors operates with luxury timepieces by Hublot, Zenith, Graham, and TW Steel.
It’s not just business for Rick–he is truly passionate about watches. “As a man, that’s really it. The accessories I can use are cars and watches. There’s nothing else out there.” So he collects and wears wristwatches the way a socialite might Birkin bags, and he admits he’s more into the design than the technology. “I’m not mechanically minded, I’m more design oriented. I’m inspired by watchmakers that push the edge of creating new designs.” While Hublot tops the list, he admires many. “I like very much what Richard Mille does. And Greubel Forsey, They are trend-setting by doing something different on the aesthetic side. These are all watches that I would buy.” Ultimately, De La Croix feels that a watch needs to be a good conversation piece. “We have to talk and have conversation 24/7 don’t we?” He says with a laugh.
At the heart of Rick De La Croix’s innovative approach is a healthy respect for and awareness of the world outside the watch industry. De La Croix sits on the boards of several charities, including retired Miami Heat legend Alonzo Mourning’s foundation. In Miami, De La Croix works closely with the Miami Heat Foundation and Ray Allen’s Ray of Hope Foundation. In Las Vegas, DeLa Croix worked with the World Boxing Council to raise more than $1,000,000 for the WBC’s charities. In Atlanta, he worked with rapper Ludacris and The Ludacris Foundation, which supports organizations like the Boys & Girls Club of Atlanta.
Despite his status as a leading figure in the community and as one of the luxury watch industry’s most important trendsetters, De La Croix remains humble. Presently living between Miami and Geneva, Rick and his wife Martha have two children.
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