Harry Connick Jr. to be Longines’ new ‘elegance’ icon; Elini plans two Paris Hilton watch lines

Two high profile celebrities—Harry Connick Jr. and Paris Hilton—have joined Longines and Elini, respectively, the watch companies announced at BaselWorld 2005.

Longines, the upscale Swiss watch brand, is contemporizing its brand icons and aiming at younger adults with the addition of popular crooner, musician, entertainer, and actor Harry Connick Jr. and international movie star Aishwarya Rai, whom many in the entertainment industry—including Julia Roberts—have called “the world’s most beautiful woman.” They will be a major focus in Longines’ new ads and marketing to men and women.

Rai signed earlier this year and is already in some marketing materials. The addition of Connick will be formally announced in New York in May.

“Both are icons of elegance,” said Linda Passaro, Longines’ U.S. brand manager, at BaselWorld, where Connick’s just-made selection was announced to Longines’ retail clients, who received Connick concert DVDs.

Connick was selected after extensive research and polling by Longines on which celebrities today represent elegance and style. Longines for several years has used Hollywood legends Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, which will remain part of the marketing package.

Elini Designs announced at BaselWorld that it has inked a deal to produce two watch lines for hotel heiress and TV and tabloid personality Paris Hilton.

The agreement is with Parlux Fragrances Inc., which has an exclusive license to produce her line of fragrances and other accessories.

The first watch line, called “Paris Hilton,” will be a high end Swiss-made oversized luxury watch (of precious metals, diamonds, and gems) retailing for $5,000 to $50,000. They will include limited editions. The second line will be the PH collection. It will retail for $75 to $200, and target at what Elini calls “a broader and general market base.” Both lines will share common design elements, says the watch company.