Burberry, Fossil sign ‘Swiss watch’ pact

Burberry, the British luxury brand, has signed a worldwide licensing agreement with the Swiss division of Fossil Inc. to produce Swiss-made watches for it.

“We are excited about our partnership with Burberry. This relationship is another important facet in our rapidly-evolving Swiss strategy,” commented Enrico Margaritelli, Fossil vice president of marketing and strategic direction.

Last Autumn, Fossil-the Richardson, Texas-based company whose fashion watches are sold in 80 countries-bought the Swiss-made Zodiac brand, plus three Swiss companies with the design, sourcing, and production capabilities to make and market Swiss-made watches, in its move into the upscale Swiss watch market.

Under the Burberry agreement, signed Nov. 29, Fossil will manufacture, distribute, and merchandise the new Burberry timepiece collection. It will work closely with Burberry’s in-house team on design and marketing. The collection will be manufactured in collaboration with Roventa-Henex of Switzerland, known for its technical expertise in Swiss made watches.

The Burberry timepiece collection will be available worldwide at fine department, specialty and jewelry stores and at Burberry retail stores, said a Fossil spokesperson. Distribution begins this fall.

“The agreement with Fossil Inc. provides Burberry with the technical expertise, manufacturing know-how, logistics, and distribution network to maximize the untapped potential of the Burberry brand in the watch category,” said Rose Marie Bravo, chief executive of Burberry. Margaritelli of Fossil added: “We believe offering affordable Swiss-made watches with a strong quality/value relationship that reflect the heritage of the Burberry brand through fashion and innovation is an outstanding opportunity for both companies.”

Burberry was founded in 1856. The brand is showcased in 60 Burberry stores as well as in leading specialty retailers worldwide.

Fossil Inc. is best known for its contemporary fashion Fossil and Relic watches. It also produces small leather goods (wallets, handbags, belts, key chains and backpacks) and eyewear (uniquely designed sunglasses).