Fossil Buys Michele Watches

Fossil Inc., whose watches are sold in more than 90 countries, has acquired Tempus International Corp. for about US$50 million in cash. Tempus manufactures, markets, and distributes the MW and MW Michele watch brands. The deal was completed in April.

Jack Barouh remains president of Tempus, which he founded and which has offices in Miami, Fla., and Geneva, Switzerland.

Michele Watches was launched as a sophisticated fashion watch brand in the United States in 2000 and named for Barouh’s daughter, who now serves as marketing manager for the brand. The watches are sold through independent fine jewelers, luxury department stores such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, and other specialty retailers.

Fossil produces its own Fossil, Relic, and Zodiac brands as well as licensed brands for a number of fashion names including Emporio Armani, DKNY, Diesel, and Burberry. The company also makes small leather goods, belts, handbags, and sunglasses under the Fossil and Relic names; jewelry under the Fossil and Emporio Armani brands; and Fossil apparel. Its products are sold in jewelry and other retail specialty stores, in department stores, and on Fossil’s Web site.

In a related story, Michael Kors, a leading U.S. fashion designer of luxury sportswear, announced in April that his company has made a license agreement with Fossil to design, develop, and distribute a line of women’s and men’s timepieces under the MICHAEL Michael Kors label. The watches—in classic, fashion, and sport styles, priced from $75 to $250—will debut this fall in conjunction with the launch of the MICHAEL Michael Kors men’s and women’s fragrances and accessories collections.