Watch Watch

CITIZEN’S ECO-DRIVE TRAVELS AT THE ‘SPEED OF LIGHT’

Eco-Drive, Citizen’s light-powered watch line, will be the focus of the company’s largest U.S. television advertising schedule this fall.

The ads, created by D’Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles/New York, will debut during television coverage of the U.S. Open tennis championship in late August and early September. The theme, “Live at the Speed of Light,” highlights the light-powered models the company has introduced to the U.S. market in the past year. (This fall, Citizen will debut 18 new Eco-Drive models.)

In print advertising, Eco-Drive is featured in three of six new ads, says Peter Nicholson, vice president of advertising and marketing services at Citizen Watch Co. of America, Lyndhurst, N.J. One of these two-page ads will include the first Eco-Drive watches designed for women. Another will feature the company’s titanium men’s collection, including the World Timer multifunction watch. Other print ads will feature the Elegance collection, Citizen Magic with sliding covered watch case, the Pro-master and Navi-hawk collections and women’s titanium models.

The print campaign will total more than 100 pages and is designed to reach more than 185 million people. Citizen’s Eco-Drive models for women are among Citizen’s fall ad campaign.

MONTRES & BIJOUX TO DAZZLE BERLIN THIS FALL

Montres & Bijoux Geneve, which brings together many top luxury watch brands into one exhibit every other year, will convene this year in Berlin, Germany. Eleven companies will exhibit Nov. 4-11 in the Festungsgraben Palace. The companies slated to

display their finest are Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Breguet, Chopard, Corum, Gay Freres, Girard-Perregaux, Jaeger-Le Coultre, Patek Philippe, Rolex and Vacheron Constantin.

The traveling exhibit was founded in 1942, the same year Geneva celebrated its 500th anniversary. The goal – then and now – is to present fine Swiss watches to the public in a luxurious and interesting setting. Two years ago, the group gathered in New York’s Metropolitan Club. As was the case then, this year’s event is expected to include items made specially for the exhibition and will likely feature several craftsmen demonstrating various aspects of watchmaking.

BERNSTEIN NAMED PRESIDENT OF SWATCH USA

Jonathan Bernstein is the new president of Swatch USA, moving up from an executive vice president position at Swatch’s parent, SMH (US), Weehawken, N.J. He succeeds Barbara Khouri, who had held the post since summer 1996.

Before joining SMH (US) in January, Bernstein was senior vice president/chief marketing officer for Coach, the leather products company owned by the Sara Lee Corp. At Coach,

he developed marketing strategies that doubled the company’s sales volume and increased its market share. He also facilitated the acquisition of the Mark Cross brand and coordinated the start-up of all Coach factory and retail stores, catalogs and corporate accounts.

In other news, Swatch reported in April that 1,580 Swatch watches valued at about $30,000 were stolen while en route from Biel, Switzerland, to Cyprus, Greece. Interpol, the international police organization, is investigating. SMH Chairman Nicholas Hayek has offered a reward for their recovery.

WITTNAUER NAMED OFFICIAL VOA WATCH

Wittnauer has been named the official watch of the Volunteers of America, one the country’s largest, oldest and most diverse humanitarian organizations. It is best known for its work in housing, health services and human services in more than 200 communities nationwide.

The announcement was made during the VOA’s “A Century of Miracles” gala in April in Washington, D.C., during which the organization celebrated 100 years of service. VOA President Charles Gould said 100 outstanding VOA volunteers would each receive a Wittnauer watch through their local jewelry store.

Face Up: SIGNS OF THE TIME

If the current hour, date, day, minute and millisecond do not quite answer “What time is it?” for you, perhaps this geocentric celestial timekeeper can. Made by master Dutch watchmaker Christiaan van der Klaauw, the LeFleur Biancardi Star Watch can tell you your precise space-time coordinate.

The watch displays the local time, but also tells you the cyclical positions of the sun and moon as they relate to each of the signs of the zodiac. Each zodiac represents a different constellation, and the watch face indicates the current cycle of the signs for each month.

The watch debuted at Basel this year and was part of a fund-raising event in June at the International Art Fair in Columbus, Ohio. For details, call LaFleur Biancardi at (808) 874-9080.

RACERS TO WIN GIRARD-PERREGAUX WATCHES

Winners of this year’s Ferrari Challenge Series auto races will receive Girard-Perregaux Ferrari timepieces as part of their prize package this year for the first time.

First-prize winners will receive an 18k Girard-Perregaux Ferrari chronograph (valued at $11,500). Second-place will winners receive a steel Girard-Perregaux Ferrari watch. Third-prize winners will receive a Girard-Perregaux Ferrari clock.

The awards will be presented after the final race in Las Vegas in September by Gino Macaluso, owner of the Swiss-based Girard-Perregaux, and Ronald Jackson, U.S. brand manager.

The Challenge Series gives owners a chance to race their Ferrari F535s on some of the world’s most famous tracks. This year’s series comprises seven races and more than 150 drivers from around the world. Championships are organized in Europe, North America, Australia, Japan, South America and the Far East.

Baume & Mercier makes its Oscar night debut as actress Kim Delaney of ABC’s “NYPD Blue” television drama wears a Linea pavé diamond watch. The 18k white gold watch is set with 500 diamonds totaling 4.3 carats. The watch complemented jewelry by Martin Katz the actress/model wore on Oscar night. Look for additional celebrity sightings featuring Baume & Mercier watches because the company recently hired a public relations adviser to increase its profile among the Hollywood set.

HIRSCH HELPS CHARITY IN BOSNIA

Hirsch, the watch bracelet company based in Austria, has joined with Claritas, which helps to rebuild homes in battle-scarred Bosnia, to create a charity project called “give a hand.”

Hirsch commissions photographer Michael Comte to take pictures of celebrities – including actress Geraldine Chaplin and designer Gianfranco Ferre – wearing Hirsch bracelets. The company then donates an equivalent fee to the project. Thus far Hirsch has given Claritas $60,000 from which to rebuild homes in regions around Sarajevo and Mostar. Hirsch Chairman Hermann Hirsch says he hopes the initiative will elicit a broad response from other celebrities and photographers.

“Our branches and partners are collaborating on this project. We would also like to engage our customers to jointly set up exhibits with the photos of these star hands and increase the contribution amount even further.”

ESPRIT DEBUTS IN PUERTO RICO

Esprit Timewear, made and distributed by Egana of Switzerland (America) Corp., New York, N.Y., is now distributed in Puerto Rico.

This marks the start of Egana’s expansion into the Caribbean with all its brands: Esprit, Stefanel Tempo, Pierre Cardin, Cerruti 1881 and Paolo Designed by Paolo Gucci. A month-long promotion for Esprit in Puerto Rico included a contest for store salespeople and a gift-with-purchase program for consumers. The promotion was supported by advertising in El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico’s largest newspaper. Esprit timewear is now sold in 31 countries.

SWISS WATCH CORP. OPENS SHOWROOM, ADDS CHAUMET

Swiss Watch Corp. in May debuted its new showroom, a large, finely detailed space called “ViewPoint: Showrooms@ 10 East 38th Street.” It’s located next to the company’s headquarters at 14 E. 38th St. in New York City.

The company distributes watches by Alfex of Switzerland and Robert Lee Morris, as well as jewelry, watches and decorative items in the John Hardy Collection. It recently added the 200-year-old Paris jeweler Chaumet to its distribution group and hired Daniel Bogue as director of sales and marketing. Bogue’s former company handled Chaumet jewelry and watches in the U.S. He formerly was president of U.S. distribution for Delma watches.

Appointments and Moves

Time Products Corp., Miami, is the new distributor of Givenchy timepieces in the Western hemisphere. Time Products, 14 N.E. First Ave., Suite 610, Miami, FL 33132.

Vince Lewis is new advertising and public relations manager for King Co., Austin, Tex. King is the exclusive U.S. importer and distributor of Lorus and Jaz brand watches for Seiko Corp. of America.

Rosa Vendola was named national sales manager for Luger Swiss Watches, Long Island City, N.Y. She reports to Charles Kriete, executive vice president of Geneva Watch Co., the parent company of Luger Swiss and Kenneth Cole watch brands.

Aero Pocket Watches, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, named Exclusive Time International Inc., Springfield, N.J., as its exclusive U.S. distributor. The Swiss company is owned and managed by George Crevoisier, president of the Watchmakers of Switzerland Information Center. Michael Shapiro is president of Exclusive Time International.