New brands use The JCK Show as springboard into U.S. market

A measure of the status of The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas (June 4-8) as North America’s major watch show is the increasing number of new brands and collections, both foreign and domestic, that use the show as a springboard into this major market.

One high-profile debut at this year’s show, for example, was the National Geographic Explorer’s Watch Collection, created with watchmaker EganaGoldpfeil USA and aimed at watch retailers, including jewelers. Net proceeds from the seven lines of high-performance men’s watches go to the Society’s research, education, conservation, and exploration work.

The National Geographic line was just one of many watch debutantes. Jewelers looking for new luxury brands or fashion timepieces as competitive alternatives had much to choose from. Those launched at or new to the 2004 JCK Show include Effy, fashion-forward watches of jewelry designer Effy Hematian, distributed by Baci; OD Geneve, the new diamond chronographs of bridal jewelry maker Oro Diamante; Trebor, innovative upscale women’s watches in five lines from jewelrymaker Mouawad; German jewelrymaker Xeno’s minimalist stainless-steel and 18k watches, with diamonds, pearls, and black jade; the revived 104-year-old Swiss luxury brand Wyler Vetta; and N.O.A. (“None of the Above”), affordable large round watches with hand-applied large numerals and indexes on the inner ring.

Tiret (Russian for “dash”) is the name of oval luxury timepieces created by hip-hop media mogul Damon Dash and watch and jewelry designer Daniel Lazar. Polanti Watches come from a maker of custom-made watches, designed by Italian designers and popular with Hollywood celebrities. Genender previewed its revived Hilton mystery dial cocktail watches for women, coming late this year.

New-to-America Italian-made lines include Bulloc, a Canadian-owned luxury brand with innovative designs; those of watch designer Lorenzo Possan and jewelry designer Pippo Perez, named for the two designers; and mid-priced Lambretta, which takes its name from the Italian motorcycle. Among limited-edition newcomers are Dima, a Texas firm; Gergé of Hollywood, Calif., offering luxury designer watches; and Scarfolo, a German family firm now in the United States. Another prestigious newcomer to the U.S. market is the Carl F. Bucherer brand, a respected name in Swiss watches, which showed outside The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas.