Speidel Drops Hirsch, Adds Di-Modell; Hirsch Names Roma as U.S. Distributor

Two of the world's major watchband suppliers—Speidel and Hirsch—have ended their years-long U.S. distribution agreement. Speidel Inc., headquartered in East Providence, R.I., is the leading North American supplier of watchbands, with more than 10,000 retail accounts. Hirsch Armbänder GmbH, of Klagenfurt, Austria, sells its watchbands in watch and jewelry stores in 62 countries and to watch manufacturers. Speidel distributed Hirsch's premium watchbands for fine watches from 1999 until Dec. 31, 2004. About 20 percent of its accounts carried Hirsch. Speidel says it stopped because many of Hirsch's watch straps are now made in China. The U.S. retailers that carried Hirsch "demand and expect a high-quality, European-made watch strap," Speidel president and chief executive officer Jeffrey R. Massotti told JCK. "They do not want China products." Hirsch, which has wholly owned factori

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