Timex Group Launches Sequel

The Timex Group B.V. has reorganized its Callanen International division and added a new worldwide company called Sequel to take over from Callanen the global marketing and distribution of the strong-selling youth-oriented Guess and Guess Collection (Gc) fashion watches. It will also handle Guess jewelry.

Callanen, which handled Guess for 23 years, continues to market and distribute the licensed brands Marc Ecko, Nautica, and Versace.

Guess and Gc watches are sold in 114 countries through 55 distributors. Guess is reportedly the world’s largest licensed watch brand, with $500 million in annual retail sales globally.

Cindy Livingston is president and chief executive officer of Sequel. She held those posts at Callanen for nine years. Her successor at Callanen, based in Norwalk, Conn., is Adam Gurian, formerly vice president of sales and marketing.

Sequel A.G. is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland. Sequel International, the U.S. arm, is in Norwalk, Conn. A satellite office in the United Kingdom handles European business, and there are showrooms in New York, London, and Hong Kong.

Callanen originally launched Guess watches in 1983 and developed the business into a worldwide success. Sequel A.G. aims to build on that (hence the name).

Sequel is the direct result of a new global license agreement with Guess Inc. signed last year with Callanen. It runs through 2016, with an option to renew for five more years. It calls for a separate company specifically to market and distribute Guess and Swiss-made Guess Collection watches.

The agreement followed a 2005 dispute between Callanen and Fossil watches. Fossil announced it was negotiating with Guess for a global license, after Callanen’s ended, and would set up a company to sell Guess and Gc watches. Callanen sued Fossil. Shortly after Fossil ended its talks, Callanen and Guess announced their new pact, including the separate company.

Guess is based in Los Angeles and designs, markets, distributes, and licenses casual wear and accessories for men, women, and children. Its licensed watch business began over two decades ago.