National Geographic Society Has Watch Line

A new line of watches named for the National Geographic Society is being made and marketed by Egana Goldpfeil, a leader in licensed watches, under an agreement announced March 8 in Washington D.C., where the Society is headquartered. It’s the first time the 116-year-old organization, one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations, has licensed its name for use on a product. The line will be sold worldwide.

“The National Geographic Explorer Watch Collection” debuted in April in Switzerland at the international BaselWorld watch fair. It will be introduced to the U.S. market at The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas (June 4-8). A portion of the proceeds from sales of the watches supports the Society’s exploration, conservation, research, and education programs, says Franz Brunner, chief executive officer of Egana of Switzerland (America), who oversaw development of the line.

The high-performance watches, many of them multifunctional, are stainless steel, water resistant to 150 feet, and retail for $85 to $600. There are seven collections (Amazon, Canyon, Endeavor, Expedition, Himalayan, Pathfinder, and Voyager) and two stand-alone models (the Pharaoh and the Stratus). All are men’s watches; a women’s line is coming soon. The primary retailers are jewelry stores, outdoor equipment stores, and department stores.

The watches’ functionality and durability are field-tested by National Geographic writers, explorers, photographers, scientists, researchers, and filmmakers around the world in its “Gear on Assignment” program. “Our watch collection is a natural extension of the National Geographic lifestyle,” said John Dumbacher, the Society’s senior vice president of licensing. The watches “capture the essence of today’s explorers and embody the brand’s heritage,” agrees Brunner. They’re designed for “active, educated consumers who are fans of National Geographic, its programs, and magazine and want a line of watches for casual and evening use.”

Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society’s mission is to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting conservation of the world’s cultural, historical, and natural resources. It does so through its magazines (including its official journal, National Geographic, read monthly by 40 million people), maps, books, films, TV shows, interactive media, expeditions, and educational outreach programs.

Egana Goldpfeil, headquartered in Hong Kong, is a leading maker and distributor of upscale timepieces, jewelry, and leather and lifestyle products, with operations in 12 countries, distribution in 90, and more than 5,000 employees. Its U.S. timepiece division is based in Pompano Beach, Fla. Watch brands of the Egana Goldpfeil Group sold here by Egana Goldpfeil USA include Junghans, Carrera, Pierre Cardin, and the licensed brands Paolo Gucci and Field & Stream. The Group’s other licensed watch brands include Cerruti 1881, Esprit, and JOOP!