In memoriam: Festina Group Export Director Jason Newman

By Luke Barras-hill |

Alongside being an adept professional and multi-linguist, Jason Newman was revered for his personable disposition and extraordinary sense of humour.

It is with sadness that TRBusiness reports the passing of Festina Group Export Director Jason Newman.

Newman, 52, a much-admired and highly respected professional within DF&TR and watch industry circles, died in Barcelona on Monday 15 May.

He spent more than 25 years at the privately held watches company, which counts Festina, Lotus, Jaguar, Candino, Calypso, Lotus Style and Lotus Silver among its brand portfolio.

Together with his colleague Manon Colombies, Newman played a pivotal role in developing Festina Group’s export and travel retail divisions, which today extend to more than 100 countries worldwide.

He was a strong supporter of the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference, an event he attended every year in Cannes for a quarter of a century, which enabled him to establish strong relationships with business partners across all channels.

‘An outstanding human touch’

Newman was associated with Festina Group for more than 25 years

A Festina Group spokesperson said: “Jason spent almost his entire career in the Festina Group. His professional career was characterised by great negotiating skills, perfect manners and an extraordinary sense of humour, which he also used with ease in any of the six languages he spoke.

“All this, together with his physical presence, which conveyed an unquestionable serenity and confidence, made him seem more like a diplomat than a businessman.

“He leaves a void that is impossible to fill. The feeling of sadness is unanimous among all his colleagues and clients because Jason was, above all, a beautiful person, with an outstanding human touch that made him very dear to all those who had the privilege of interacting with him. He will be dearly missed.”

The architect of Miguel Rodriguez in the 1980s, the Group began in Spain with the Lotus brand before acquiring Switzerland-founded Festina to form the Festina-Lotus Group and embarking on its international expansion.

TRBusiness is saddened to learn of the passing of Jason Newman and would like to extend our heartfelt sympathies to his family, colleagues and friends at this very difficult time.

Images courtesy of Festina Group.

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