Newswire

  • Watchmaker Fossil Inc. has created a line of watches that integrate with cell phones. The analog/digital Caller ID watch ($250 retail, sold only through www.fossil.com) is the first to use Sony Ericsson Mobile Communication’s Bluetooth wireless technology and can link to most Bluetooth-enabled cell phones. The watch slightly vibrates and displays an icon on its face when the user’s cell phone rings or gets a text message, and it can reject or mute incoming calls.

  • The entrepreneurial career of watch magnate Nicolas Hayek Sr., chairman of the Swatch Group, is detailed in his words in a book that went on sale in Swiss book stores in October. Au-delà de la Saga Swatch (Beyond the Swatch Saga), published by Parisian publisher Albin Michel, is a French version of one published in German in Switzerland in 2005. The book pulls together a series of interviews with Hayek by journalist Friedemann Bartu. The preface was written by model Cindy Crawford, a Swatch Group ambassador.

  • In October Swiss watch company Rado celebrated a second year of partnership with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation with an electronic billboard in New York City’s Times Square that displayed the names of loved ones affected by breast cancer. For every name sent to it through Oct. 31, 2006, Rado made a donation to the Komen Foundation. Hundreds of survivors, members of the medical field, and supporters of breast cancer research attended the unveiling.

  • Unions and employers in the Swiss watch industry signed a new agreement that’s effective until 2011. The pact contains significant improvements, including a gain in health benefits, for nearly 35,000 employees in some 400 companies. It was to take effect Jan. 1. The contract capped eight months of negotiations.

  • Luxury Swiss watch company Raymond Weil Genève in October launched its online RW Club, designed to foster closer “personal and privileged relationships” between the brand and its customers, it said in an announcement. After becoming a member online, at www.raymond-weil.com/club, users can access various “Lounges” including a “VIP Lounge” that provides exclusive services to Raymond Weil watch owners. The RW Club also spotlights up-and-coming artists and various partnerships Raymond Weil has developed in the music, culture, and travel fields.

  • Swiss luxury brand Patek Philippe S.A. in October invited hundreds of foreign journalists and retailers to Geneva for the 30th anniversary and relaunch of its Nautilus sports watch. The watchmaker has redesigned the line for the 21st century and launched six new men’s models, including an automatic flyback chronograph with a new Patek Philippe movement. Patek Philippe chairman Philippe Stern hosted the event, which was held in a former Geneva discotheque. In the United States a new exhibit of Patek Philippe watches, traveling to authorized retailers, displays the new Nautilus line and other important Patek Philippe watches.