Supplier News

WITTNAUER SELECTS SERVICE CENTER

Wittnauer International, New Rochelle, N.Y., has named Universal Watch Repair, Southfield, Mich., as official repair center for all Universal Geneve watches. Wittnauer is the exclusive North American distributor of Universal Geneve watches.

Separately, Wittnauer announced its Zodiac brand Swiss Formula watches will be featured on the TV game show “Wheel of Fortune” during the week of November 13. The watches will be modeled by the show’s Vanna White and will be given as prizes to contestants during the show’s college week salute.

GILLES ROBERT CEASES OPERATIONS

Swiss watchmaker Gilles Robert has ceased production of its luxury watches, says UTime Co. Inc., the Rutherford, N.J., company that used to distribute the brand in the U.S.

Gilles Robert was a line of jeweled women’s watches, many with interchangeable leather straps. The line was introduced in 1991 by the company’s namesake, whose family is in the watch business in Switzerland.

UTime will continue to distribute the Bertolucci, Breguet, Girard-Perregaux and Gevril brands.

LORUS ROLLS OUT ROLLER COASTER ADS

Lorus has launched a series of 15- and 30-second TV ads featuring its Lumibrite watches. The ads re-create a roller coaster ride through a dark tunnel, with the Lumibrite glow-in-the-dark feature keeping the watch visible as it moves up and down with the rider.

The narrator reminds viewers that no extra buttons need to be pushed, no extra batteries are needed and the watch glows for hours. The tag line is “Simply brilliant watches.”

The ads can be seen this fall in Chicago, Ill.; Atlanta, Ga.; Dallas, Tex.; Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando and Tampa, Fla.; St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.; Nashville, Tenn.; Detroit, Mich.; and New York, N.Y.

BAUME & MERCIER BOLSTERS AD CAMPAIGN

Some 56 million readers of some top magazines and newspapers soon will see advertisements that are part of Baume & Mercier’s largest-ever ad campaign.

The goal is to attract a greater share of younger buyers with the campaign, called “Baume & Mercier & Me.” Featured watches are the new 18k Diamond Linea, the Hampton, the 18k diamond Classique and the Malibu.

From now through December, the ads can be seen in Allure, Architectural Digest, Departures, Forbes, Gourmet, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, The New York Times Magazine, Southern Accents, Town & Country, Vanity Fair, Vogue and W. In addition, eight ads in The Wall Street Journal debuted Oct. 31 and will run through Dec. 19.

The three-year “Baume & Mercier & Me” campaign is in addition to the company’s standard co-op advertising program. “We are dedicated to keeping the brand name strong and making it stronger with these ads,” says Steven Kaiser, president of Baume & Mercier, USA.

AMERICA SELLS IN JAPAN

America Perry Ellis, a watch division of CSC Time Corp., Rockville Center, N.Y., is now in nearly 300 stores in Japan, says Charles Kriete, president of CSC Time.

First tested last fall, the brand appears to be poised as a best-seller in Japan, he says, due partly to its identification as an American import. “Our packaging, point-of-purchase ticketing and warranties are identical to what the consumer would find in Macy’s in New York,” says Bernie Costelli, CSC’s vice president of sales and marketing. “The only addition is an instruction booklet printed in Japanese.”

CSC also recently launched Luger Swiss Watches, designed for jewelers and jewelry departments.

REMODELING COMPLETED AT JEWELER’S CENTER

The Jeweler’s Center at the Mallers Building, Chicago, Ill., recently completed an 18-month renovation program. The building houses Aaura Inc., David Alder Inc., Global Diamonds Inc., Intercontinental Diamonds Inc., National Diamond Syndicate Inc., S.A. Gems Inc., Steinmetz Inc. and a Jewelers Board of Trade office. Plans have been announced for a new section called the Jeweler’s Arcade. The new section will consist of up to 12 shops with a common entrance from the street.

SUPPLIERS ON THE GROW

Mason Box Co., North Attleboro, Mass., recycled more than 540 tons of paper waste in 1994. By putting this material back into the manufacturing cycle, the company recovered recyclable fibers that otherwise would have added 1,620 cubic yards of solid waste to landfills, says President Hugh D. Mason. To further conserve resources, the company uses paper and paperboard derived from trees planted expressly to make these materials. The company also uses paper and board made from recovered, reprocessed fibers when possible.

Fish for Stones, a manufacturer of 14k and 18k gold jewelry, has moved to larger headquarters. The new address is Fish for Stones, Mercedes Executive Park, 1868 N. University Drive, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 33322; (800) 868-FISH.