WatchWorld

Façonnable Launches Watch Collection

Façonnable, the French fashion house known for traditional clothes with a modern flair, has launched a new collection of watches for both men and women. The collection, with retail prices ranging from $295 to $935, offers features normally found in more expensive watches. For example, the Balancier has a tourbillon look, with an open back and an open window at the 12 o’clock position to show the automatic movement inside. The Classic Range features a “coin edge” pattern around the watch case and an oval pusher. The Façonaval Range, based on the naval chronometers of the 1950s, appeals to a sportier clientele. It retains the company’s signature coin-edge pattern but features a brightly colored face and strap and is water-resistant to 100 meters. All Façonnable watches have Swiss movements, either automatic or quartz, and individually numbered cases.

Façonnable comes from the French word façonner, which means “handcrafting.” The brand was founded in France in 1950 and has shops worldwide. Façonnable watches are available at selected Nordstrom stores, and fine independent jewelry stores will be invited to carry them in the near future. Contact Façonnable watches at 55 E. 59th St., 13th Floor, New York, NY 10022; (212) 317-3680.—Hedda T. Schupak

Swiss Army Brands Goes After Counterfeiters

As part of its fight against counterfeit watches, Swiss Army Brands has launched a series of seminars to educate metropolitan police and law-enforcement officials about differences between authentic and counterfeit Swiss Army timepieces. The first workshops in New York City and Los Angeles recently led to several arrests of street vendors and confiscation of several thousand fake watches. Swiss Army Brands will offer its workshops “indefinitely in order to deter future manufacture and sale of illegal watches,” says a spokesperson. The new program is in part prompted by recent legislation making sale of counterfeit goods a criminal, rather than civil, action. —William George Shuster

Major Players Sell Watches Online

Two well-known names in the watch business have expanded their use of the Internet to sell watches.

Baume & Mercier, the first luxury watch brand to go online (more than three years ago), has updated its Web site (www.baume-et-mercier.com) with the latest ‘Net technologies, including virtual watches (which can be set to PC users’ local time and downloaded as screensavers), Flash 4 animations, videos, and 3-D images. It also offers data on Baume & Mercier collections, the brand’s history, lists of authorized dealers and service centers, watch care advice, answers to frequently asked questions, a glossary, and a competitive quiz.

Antiquorum Auctioneers, one of the world’s leading vintage watch auction houses, has joined eBay’s “Great Collections” site (www.ebaygreatcollections.com) and stages auctions of watches and jewels online. Antiquorum’s Web site also provides access to sales information and its computerized catalog of collectors’ watches.—William George Shuster