Relaunches and New Marketing Plans Announced

At the 2005 Swiss watch shows in Basel and Geneva, a number of brands announced relaunches and changes in marketing strategies, including the following:

Audemars Piguet relaunched its oval Millenary line in a redesigned format with an enlarged case and off-center, merged, sculpted subdials. The limited-edition Dual Time Millenary Maserati watch marks the 90th anniversary of the famous Italian car maker.

Ebel, the Swiss luxury-watch brand bought last year by the Movado Group, was officially relaunched at BaselWorld 2005. Brand president Thomas van der Kallen promised a return to basics in product design, merchandising, and marketing, including a worldwide ad campaign starring supermodel Claudia Schiffer and a restoration of its former logo, Architects of Time, and its long-term color, light brown. All major collections have been revised and streamlined, including its iconic 1911, Beluga, Sportwave, and Classic Wave, now renamed Ebel Classic. Ebel has also added a men’s line called Ebellissimo.

Some brands announced new monikers. TAG Heuer’s Aquaracer series was formerly its 2000 line. Rado’s high-tech ceramic DiaStar, the world’s first scratch-proof watch, has been revamped and renamed the Original.

Hublot, the luxury Swiss watch best known for its “porthole case” (hublot, in French) and its rubber strap, is undergoing a makeover that includes dozens of new watches, such as its men’s Big Bang chronograph; more color and gemstones; modifying some popular models, such as its SuperB chrono (enlarged, with a first-time transparent crystal back); and adding colored leather straps.