Wittnauer’s New Look

A familiar name returns with a stylish new look and market focus. Bulova Corp. bought the Wittnauer brand last September. It has redesigned and repositioned it as a dressy “Special Occasion” line for men and women ($300-$1,000 retail), based on research with Wittnauer retailers on the U.S. watch market and where its strengths were.

“We found a big hole in the mid-priced dress watch category,” says Bulova spokesperson Francie Abraham. The new Wittnauer keeps, but improves, the Krystal and Laureate lines, renames Cosmopolitan as Metropolitan, and adds the Savoy (shown here), Marquee, and Astor collections. The watches have Swiss movements and come in gold-tone, two-tone, and steel, with diamonds or crystals. Jewelers got a glimpse of the new line at The JCK Show ~ Orlando in February. “We were pleasantly surprised by the strong interest and orders,” said Abraham afterward. The official launch was June 15, Father’s Day. Jewelers (independent and chain) and fine department stores are the primary retailers, and Bulova is aiming for a network of 2,500 outlets. Support includes advertising in regional editions of national magazines and an online “Wittnauer boutique” linked to a Wittnauer retailer’s e-commerce site.