Supplier News

RADO REACHES EXECS VIA BLOOMBERG

Rado has made it simpler for business executives to learn about Rado Swiss watches. The firm, a division of SMH (US), has placed pictures, product information and retailer locations on the financial news network system operated by Bloomberg Financial Markets, New York.

Bloomberg leases desktop terminals, which transmit financial news and reports, general news, weather, sports and games to more than 55,000 stockbrokers, financial analysts and portfolio managers nationwide. Users simply enter the service’s Executive Shopper and request “watch.” A color image of the Rado Sintra will appear on the screen along with product information, a complete representation of the Rado line and a state-by-state list of official Rado retailers.

“This is an excellent method of reaching who we consider our target customers,” says Joy Sapin, Rado director of marketing. Bloomberg terminal users typically are 35 to 55 years old and earn in excess of $150,000 annually. Rado joins other advertisers – including Brooks Brothers, Steuben and Timberland – which also display goods on-line. Rado has exclusive rights to the term “watch” on Bloomberg until the end of this November, Sapin says. Rado will then review the effectiveness of the marketing venture.

In addition to its terminals, Bloomberg Financial Services broadcasts its reports on the USA Network, on CNN, on its own cable network, in its two magazines and on radio stations in 70 cities nationwide. (Rado first worked with Bloomberg when Rado ads were broadcast on the radio stations last fall.) Bloomberg fields 350 reporters worldwide and owns WBBR, an all-news radio station in New York City, and WBNW in Boston.

LESLIE’S SALES FORCE MEETS IN ITALY

Leslie’s, Greenwich, Conn., took its national sales force and key members of the office staff to the Vicenza area of Italy for its sales meeting this spring. The trip combined business and pleasure.

The group visited three of the factories that supply Leslie’s for tours that showed the jewelry-making process from the melting and mixing of gold through to the finished product. They saw both fully automated and hand assembly plants that supply a wide variety of merchandise.

On the pleasure side, group members visited towns such as Asolo, Bassano and Vicenza and enjoyed shopping and sightseeing on a day trip to Venice.

SWATCH HONORS OLYMPIC LEGENDS

Swatch introduced the third series in its Centennial Olympic Games Collection: The Olympic Legends. Swatch teamed up with gold medalists Katarina Witt, Nadia Comaneci, Daley Thompson, Sabastian Coe, Said Aouita, Gelinda Bordin, Mark Spitz, Bob Beamon, Edwin Moses and Dan Jansen to design ten Olympic-themed watches.

Each watch was created with close cooperation from each of the athletes to capture that person’s unique accomplishments and his or her personality. For example, Katarina Witt’s watch plays music, recalling her combination of artistry and athletics as a skater. Swimmer Mark Spitz’s watch is a Swatch AquaChrono, water resistant to 200 meters. Edwin Moses, the athlete who set world records as a hurdler, is commemorated in an automatic watch that features “hurdles” at each five-minute mark on the face and incorporates racing lanes into the design.

The watches also feature diary excerpts, quotes, scoreboard references, photos and footprints. On the back of each watch is the flag of the athlete’s country of origin, along with statistical information on his or her Olympic competition and medals.

The watches were introduced March 28 at a ceremony at the All-Star sports-theme cafe in New York, with many of the athletes participating. Bud Green-span, renowned Olympic videographer and historian, emceed the event. Anne Leibovitz took a special photograph of all the athletes to commemorate the new collection.

The timepieces are priced from $40 to $90 or for $625 when boxed together in a collectors set.

SEARS PICKS FOUR INDUSTRY SUPPLIERS

Four jewelry industry suppliers recently announced they had been selected as a Sears Partner in Progress for 1995. The award goes to the top vendor companies that supply Sears with quality products and services. More than 10,000 sources competed for the awards, which were presented on March 26 during Sears Source Day at the firm’s headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

The award winners were:

  • Aurafin, Sunrise, Fla., with Michael Gusky, chief executive officer, and Linda Leffingwell, account executive, participating in the ceremony.

  • International Gemmological Institute, New York City, with President Jerry Ehrenwald participating.

  • Jewelmont Corp., Golden Valley, Minn., with Debbi Mugnaini, vice president of corporate sales, and Rob Leeds, chief executive officer, participating.

  • Sol Savransky Diamonds Inc., New York City, with Suzuo Gondo, vice president, and Eli Savransky, president and chief executive officer, participating.

BELL GROUP TO MOVE

The Bell Group Inc. (doing business as Rio Grande Tools, River Gems & Findings and Bluewater Display & Packaging) will move into one integrated facility late this month. The new 180,000-sq.-ft. headquarters will allow the firm to improve service and expand its manufacturing division.

Orders will be taken throughout the move. The new address is 7500 Bluewater Rd., NW, Albuquerque, NM 87121; (505) 345-8511. Toll-free numbers for ordering are (800) 545-6566 for tools and equipment; (800) 443-6766 for gems and findings; and (800) 637-8303 for displays and packaging.

CITIZEN EXPANDS ROLE AS USTA SPONSOR

Citizen’s designation as official timer of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, held each summer in New York, has been extended through the year 2000, according to the United States Tennis Association. Citizen has timed the event since 1993; the continued designation is part of an expanded relationship in which Citizen becomes the first sponsor to be named a USTA Corporate Champion.

Citizen also will be official timer and watch of the USTA League Tennis Program, USTA Adult and Senior National Championships, USTA Player Development Program, U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships and XL Bermuda Open. USTA Corporate Champions are companies that provide significant support to the USTA to help promote and develop the growth of tennis in the U.S.

“Citizen is extremely pleased to move forward as the inaugural USTA Corporate Champion and very excited about this long-term relationship with the USTA to support the great game of tennis,” says Laurence Grunstein, president of Citizen Watch Co. of America, Lyndhurst, N.J.

EGANA RELAUNCHES PIERRE CARDIN BRAND

Egana International Holdings Ltd., the Hong Kong-based manufacturer and distributor of fashion and designer watches, regained full North American distribution rights for its Pierre Cardin brand last year. Now the firm’s U.S. subsidiary, Egana of Switzerland (America) Corp., New York, is ready to “relaunch” the brand after years of eroded brand equity in North America, according to Howard Feller, vice president and managing director.

Egana says that to halt a decrease in volume, the previous distributor cut prices and paid little regard to brand image or price consistency. Last year, says Feller, Egana moved to clear shelves and warehouses of the discounted design in preparation for this year’s relaunch. “The decision was challenging and costly,” he says. “Unit volume in the pipeline was substantial.”

“The Pierre Cardin brand of designer watches is highly prized in the Far East, Europe and South America,” he adds. “In fact, international tourists visiting North America actively seek the brand.”

Feller and Egana plan to support the relaunch here with national advertising, point-of-purchase displays, retailer promotional allowances and dealer promotion materials. He recently established a New York showroom and hired sales, marketing and administrative personnel to conduct the relaunch. “One of our primary goals is to relaunch the brand through jewelry stores and department stores,” Feller says. They’ll do it in a controlled manner, he says, so the “reborn” line maintains a high value to retailers and consumers alike.”

Egana successfully launched its Esprit and Nicole Miller lines in North America last year. “We’re confident that we can repeat our success with the Pierre Cardin brand,” Feller says.

NEW OMEGA ADS FEATURE ELLE AND ELS

Omega watches now appear on the wrists of model Elle Macpherson and professional golfer Ernie Els in a series of ads to promote the brand’s recently redesigned Constellation watch.

Macpherson is shown wearing a women’s steel and 18k gold Constellation with a diamond bezel and dial. Els sports a men’s steel and 18k gold Automatic chronometer version with silver dial and two pairs of “claws” on a bezel engraved with Roman numerals.

Full-page, four-color ads already are appearing in major magazines. Macpherson can be seen in GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Travel & Leisure, The New Yorker and Inc., among others. Els appears in Golf Digest, Gourmet, National Geographic, Smart Money and Time. Both ads will run through December.

“We want people to associate our watches with personalities who exemplify excellence in their field,” says Gerald Batt, Omega president.

CONCORD STARTS VISIONARY AWARD

In honor of its affiliation with the Martha Graham Dance Company and coinciding with its new watch collection called Concord Eighteen, the Concord watch firm this month will inaugurate “The Martha Graham Visionary Award” saluting women whose pioneering leadership has had a lasting influence on American culture. Concord, a division of North American Watch Corp., Lyndhurst N.J., will host a luncheon in New York that coincides with the first retrospective exhibit on the life and work of Graham. The exhibit opens at the Pace Gallery in New York and later will move to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tokyo and Washington, D.C.

“Martha Graham elevated modern dance with her singular style, courage and vitality – attributes that we celebrate in America’s most visionary women,” says Concord President Efraim Grinberg. “This award will honor the talents and maverick efforts of these unique individuals and will help to underscore the golden legacy of Martha Graham.”

LeSTAGE MFG. CHANGES NAME TO FISHER-LESTAGE

LeStage Mfg., a jewelry manufacturer in North Attleboro, Mass., has changed its name to Fisher-LeStage. The change follows the company’s decision to merge into its operations the marketing and sales departments of J.M. Fisher Co., which it bought in 1987.

Retailers now may order and receive products from both divisions with one telephone call. In the past, products from the two divisions were marketed, sold and shipped separately.

LeStage has been in continuous operation since 1863. J.M. Fisher, which makes precious metal charms, has operated since 1879.