Timex Group Launches Global ‘Sequel’ for Guess, Gc Watches

The Timex Group b.v. has reorganized its Callanen International division and added a new worldwide company called Sequel to take over from Callanen the global marketing and distribution of the strong-selling youth-oriented Guess and Guess Collection (Gc) fashion watches. It will also handle the international licenses for Guess and Guess Collection jewelry.

Callanen, which launched Guess watches in 1983, will continue to market and distribute the licensed brands of Marc Eckô, Nautica and Versace watch brands.

The changes were effective Jan. 1.

Guess and Gc watches are sold in 114 countries through 55 distributors. The Guess watch brand is reportedly the single largest licensed watch brand in the world, with a strong reputation in the fashion watch market and over a half billion dollars in annual retail sales globally.

Cindy Livingston is the new president and chief executive officer of Sequel. She formerly held those same posts at Callanen for nine years, and oversaw the growth of the Guess, Guess Collection, Ecko, and Nautica watch brands. Her successor at Callanen, based in Norwalk, Conn., is Adam Gurian, formerly vice president of sales and marketing at Callanen.

Livingston called the new operation “the next phase” and “a great opportunity to focus exclusively on Guess and Gc Watches. We look forward to continuing the brands’ exponential growth with our new global structure and the addition of the international license for jewelry.”

Sequel AG is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland. Sequel International, the U.S. arm, is based in Norwalk, Conn. Sequel AG also has a satellite office in the United Kingdom (for its European operations), and showrooms for Guess Watches in New York, London and Hong Kong.

Callanen International originally launched Guess brand watches in 1983 and grew the business into a worldwide force. Sequel AG wants to build on that worldwide success and extend it (hence the “Sequel” name).

Sequel AG is the direct result of a new global license agreement with Guess Inc. signed last year with Callanen. The pact, through 2016, was effective Jan. 1, and has a five-year option to renew. It called for establishment of a separate company specifically to manage marketing and distribution of Guess and the Swiss-made Guess Collection watches.

That agreement followed a dispute between Callanen and Fossil watches in 2005. Fossil announced in August 2005 that it was negotiating with Guess for a global license agreement, when the one with Callanen ended. Those talks reportedly called for Fossil to set up a separate company to make and distribute Guess and Guess Collection watches.

Callanen sued Fossil to stop the proposed pact, claiming it “interfered with Callanen’s contractual relationship” with Guess. In September 2005, Fossil and Guess ended negotiations and a few days later, Callanen and Guess announced their new agreement, which including the requirement for a separate company.

Guess is based in Los Angeles and designs, markets, distributes, and licenses casual wear and accessories for men, women, and children. Its licensed watch business began two decades ago.