Supplier News

WHAT A SHOW!

Andin International, New York, N.Y., knows how to put on a show.

The evening before the JA International Jewelry Show in February, Andin took more than 200 of its retail customers and friends to see the revival of the Broadway musical Showboat. Guests were presented with orchestra seats and treated to intermission refreshments. Afterward, they were shuttled by bus to Tavern on the Green in Central Park for dinner and a chance to meet members of the Showboat cast. Waiters and attendants were dressed in period costume, and guests could play Monte Carlo-style games for prizes, not money.

Andin principals Ofer and Aya Azrielant gave a brief welcoming speech and discussed their commitment to helping fight AIDS in conjunction with the charity Broadway Cares, which helps AIDS sufferers. As tired party-goers headed back to their buses about 2 a.m., they received a treat bag filled with a jewelry game developed by Andin, information about Broadway Cares, the universal red ribbon of support for fighting AIDS and a compact disc soundtrack of Showboat music.

SWISS WATCH FIRMS OFFER DRIVING SCHOOL

The renowned Skip Barber Racing School will offer a special one-day advanced driving school June 7-8, preceding The JCK Show in Las Vegas, Nev. The program is designed for driving enthusiasts who want to be better, safer and more proficient drivers on the road. The highlight of the one-day school uses all of a driver’s skills in an excercise called the “24 minutes of Las Vegas,” an autocross circuit driven in a Dodge Viger.

Formula One legend Skip Barber says, “In order to meet challenges of today’s business environment, people must possess self-confidence, team spirit and the ability to take calculated risks. The program encourages these qualities and motivates participants to develop new perspectives about themselves, others and the opportunities which await them.”

Classroom and driving time will focus on accident evasion, emergency braking and skid control, as well as theoretical instruction in vehicle dynamics. Cost of participation is $325 per person and includes all costs at the track, such as damage liability. The school will be held at the Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas.

Official sponsors are Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Breguet, Chrono-swiss, Gevril, IWC and Vuarnet.For information or to register, call Swiss Time Productions Inc., (800) 967-9677.

SEIKO TO BE OFFICIAL TIMER OF 1998 WINTER OLYMPICS

Olympic officials have named Seiko as official timer for the 1998 XVIII Olympic Winter Games, to be held in Nagano, Japan.

Seiko officials in Japan attributed the appointment to the local organizing committee and to the company’s performance as timer of the 1992 Olympic Summer Games in Barcelona, Spain, and the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Seiko also announced it will develop even more advanced timing equipment for the 1988 Winter Games.

Seiko Corp. of America, the company’s U.S. branch, has not yet decided whether to become associated with the U.S. Olympic Committee as a licensee or in some other way. “However, this prestigious appointment will certainly guarantee high-impact international exposure,” says Takashi Wakuyama, president of the U.S. branch.

UTIME ANNOUNCES MANAGEMENT CHANGES

David Marold, general manager of UTime USA, NewYork, N.Y., has resigned to pursue a career as a consultant to the watch industry. Marold joined the company in 1990 when it was known as UTACAmerica.

John Mercer, executive vice president, will now lead UTime and the general manager post will be eliminated. Mercer joined the company in 1989 and assumed his current post in 1993.

Mercer announced the appointment of two brand managers:

  • Ronald Jackson, formerly executive vice president and brand manager for the HamiltonWatchCo., is now brand manager for Gevril, a new brand that UTime will launch at the JCK International Jewelry Show in Las Vegas in June.

  • Hans Beck, who has served as national sales manager for the company’s Bertolucci, Breguet and Girard-Perregaux brands, was named president of those brands. Beck also handles the company’s Gilles Robert brand.

Mercer also announced that UTime will move its offices and service center in July to larger quarters in Rutherford, N.J. The move will allow expansion beyond the company’s 20 employees and five regional sales representatives.

UTime’s parent companies are UTime Co. and UTCInternational, both based in Switzerland.

MICHAEL ANTHONY BUYS BATES CREATIONS

Michael Anthony Jewelers Inc., Mt. Vernon, N.Y., bought the assets of Bates Creations Inc., a religious jewelry manufacturer in Lynbrook, N.Y. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Bates’ three employees now work at Michael Anthony headquarters; former owner Murray Bates is a consultant to Michael Anthony.

The Bates Creation line of 14 karat gold religious jewelry, including a large number of pendants, will retain its name in the Michael Anthony catalog, says Allan Corn, chief operating officer of Michael Anthony. “The Bates Creations line gives us a greater presence in the religious jewelry market and allows us to expand our line to the retailer,” says Corn. He said sales of religious items have increased steadily in recent years.

CARRERA Y CARRERA MOUNTS U.S. CONSUMER CAMPAIGN

Carrera y Carrera, Spain’s foremost luxury jeweler, kicked off its first major consumer marketing campaign in the U.S. by sponsoring the Metropolitan Opera Guild Benefit Auction April 11 at Christie’s New York.

Known for its artistry in 18k gold since 1885, the company donated two “star lots” to the auction. The first was a set of matching 18k gold Romeo and Juliet cuff bracelet and earclips valued at $4,500; the second was a dancing nymph figure of malachite, amethyst and vermeil on an onyx base valued at $4,700.

Company President Roberto Cristobal says designers Manuel and Juan Carrera, both opera aficionados, are excited about the creative possibilities presented by the company’s association with the opera.

Additionally, the company plans a limited-edition collection of opera-themed sculptures for Opera Guild stores at the Lincoln Center in New York, the Opera Shop on Madison Avenue in New York and via Met-by-Mail.

SUPPLIERS ON THE GROW

Lenox Brands, Lawrenceville, N.J., manufacturer of fine china, crystal and silver, named Gillespie of Princeton, N.J., as its public relations agency for products marketed under the Lenox, Gorham and Kirk Stieff brands. Kathy O’Hare, vice president of marketing for Lenox, says the company’s goal is to be more proactive in reaching consumers through a range of media, giving a consistent message about its products and image.

Evvco Corp. consolidated marketing, merchandising and manufacturing operations in larger headquarters at 1400 E. Newport Center Dr., Deerfield Beach, Fla. 33442; (800) 552-VVCO or (305) 360-0101. Morad Zamir, who founded the company in 1968, is now chairman of Evvco Enterprises and president of Evvco International, the company’s loose stone division. Rod Sheldon, formerly marketing vice president, is president of Evvco Corp. Fred Wirtala, formerly with Montgomery Ward, is the new vice president of operations. (Evvco’s loose stone division will remain at 589 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y.)

Progress Machine and Tool moved to 645 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, Cal. 90014; (213) 489-7262.