Supplier News

WITTNAUR EXPANDS AWARD PROGRAM

Wittnauer International, New Rochelle, N.Y., has expanded a program that honors “unsung heroes” for contributions to their communities. Called the Community Pride Awards, the program is now open to jewelers nationwide after a successful debut in October at Don Roberto Jewelers, a 41-store chain based in Los Angeles, Cal.

The promotion evolved from conversations between Wittnauer and Don Roberto officials centering on how to involve residents in the Hispanic communities of Southern California. Customers were encouraged to visit a DRJ store to vote for candidates for Community Pride Hero. The candidate with the most votes won a Wittnauer watch. The names of two customers who voted were drawn at random and also received watches.

Christian Brother Armando Garcia received the most votes. Honorable mentions and Wittnauer watches were awarded to Fernando Leon, a community activist; Tony Luna, commissioner of East Los Angeles Court; and Juan Manuel Escobar, recreation services manager for the Central Recreation District.

“Beyond the marketing applications, the promotion gave us the opportunity to give back to the community that supports us by recognizing their ‘unsung heroes,'” says Art Tschopp, the jeweler’s advertising director. “These are folks who quietly go about helping others and rarely receive recognition or financial assistance. They are real heroes of a community.”

Frank Salzano, Wittnauer’s director of marketing, says the company is talking with jewelers nationwide about tailoring the promotion to fit their markets.

Wittnauer International, 145 Huguenot, New Rochelle, N.Y. 10802; (914) 576-1000

WATCHES SPARK HIGH BRAND AWARENESS

Nine watch companies and two jewelers are among the top 100 most familiar brand names in the U.S., according to a national survey by Women’s Wear Daily.

Timex ranked No. 2 on the list of apparel, swimwear, sportswear, designer and other heavily advertised fashion categories. (For the record, L’eggs brand hosiery topped the list, which is called the Fairchild 100 after WWD’s publishing company.)

Other watch and jewelry companies named and their placement on the list are Seiko (13), Rolex (22), Bulova (40), Casio (42), Swatch (53), Citizen (56), Cartier (72), Armitron (76), Tiffany (77) and Omega (81).

The survey was based on nearly 1,600 completed questionnaires from a representative cross section of women age 18-64 with a household income of $35,000 or more. The questionnaires consisted of 450 listed brands in 12 categories. Samples of teenagers, Baby Boomers and upper income consumers were broken out in sublists.

Among the upper income respondents, Timex took the No. 1 slot, with Seiko the only other watch firm in the top ten. Among Baby Boomers (age 31-49) Timex was No. 3 and Seiko No. 10.

PULSAR SALES FORCE SELLS LORUS CLOCKS TO JEWELERS

The Pulsar watch sales force now sells Lorus brand clocks to independent and chain jewelry stores, says Rick Birnbaum, vice president of field sales at Seiko Corp. of America, which owns the two brands.

The spring Lorus clock line comprises 70 models in alarm, wall and novelty categories ranging from $7.99 to $79 suggested retail. Twenty-one new pieces are being readied for a spring debut, including an alarm clock display made exclusively for jewelers.

“We have ambitious plans for expanding our Lorus clock line and sales,” says Birnbaum. “The proven talents of SCA’s Pulsar sales force in working with jewelry retailers are a key component in those plans.”

SUPPLIERS ON THE GROW

Egana of Switzerland, one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of quartz analog watches, opened a new custom-designed headquarters in New York City to better showcase its licensed brands, including Esprit, Nicole Miller, Pierre Cardin, Cerruti 1881 and Stefanel. The showroom is located at

390 Fifth Ave., Suite 500, New York, N.Y. 10018; (212)593-0100

Ernest Slotar Inc. announced that “Cut by Gauge”¨ is now a registered trademark. Cut by Gauge¨ Diamonds are specially cut to maximize refraction of light within a stone and its reflection back through the table. Some specifications include cutting within specific width, height and depth percentages and allowing only a 1.0¡-1.5¡ variance from the Tolkowsky standard in crown and pavilion angles.

Ernest Slotar Inc., 29 E. Madison St., Suite 1112, Chicago, Ill. 60602; (800) 621-6537, fax (312) 236-6456

United Innovations Inc. moved from West Springfield, Mass., to a 50,000-sq.-ft. building at

120 W.F. Rd., Holyoke, Mass. 01040; (413) 533-7500

The company manufactures four models of Signature computerized engraving machines.