Movado Group enters global license agreement with Hugo Boss

The Movado Group, a leading watch producer and distributor, has made a long-term worldwide licensing agreement with Hugo Boss, a leading global fashion group, to design, produce, and market watches under the “Boss” and “Hugo” brand names. The agreement, announced Thursday, is effective March 21, 2005. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“Our strategy is to cooperate with licensing partners that lead their markets and work successfully with powerful brands,” said Dr. Bruno Salzer, chief executive officer and chairman of Hugo Boss AG, headquartered in Metzingen, Germany. “In the Movado Group, we feel sure we’ve found a partner capable of further extending our position in the high-end fashion watch segment.”

The agreement grants Movado, headquartered in Paramus, N.J., exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute a full collection of fashion watches, which will be sold through select wholesale distribution outlets in Europe, the United States, and Asia as well as in Hugo Boss retail shops. The Movado Group also will take over worldwide distribution of existing Boss watch collections.

The new Hugo Boss watch collection “will feature compelling identifiable designs combined with high-quality craftsmanship,” said Rick Cote, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Movado Group. “It will focus on the high end of the fashion watch category.”

There will be some product introductions in 2005, but the major new-product launches are planned for spring 2006 at BaselWorld, the annual international watch and jewelry fair in Basel, Switzerland.

Cote called the Hugo Boss partnership “a great addition to our portfolio of brands, [and one that] fits squarely within our selective licensing strategy. It’s not only a brand with demonstrated staying power but also complements our business from a strategic, operational, and geographic perspective.”

The addition of the Hugo Boss watch business isn’t expected to affect The Movado Group’s financial results until the fiscal year starting Feb. 1, 2006.

Movado Group Inc. designs, manufactures, and distributes Movado, Ebel, Concord, ESQ, Coach, and Tommy Hilfiger watches worldwide, and operates Movado boutiques and company stores in the United States.