JIC’s ‘Luxury of Time’ Exhibit Spotlights Trends in Fine Watches

The latest trends in fine timepieces for the year 2000 were displayed in “Luxury of Time,” an exhibition in June in New York City sponsored by the Jewelry Information Center (JIC).

More than 150 of the world’s finest watches, valued at $3.8 million overall and representing 25 brands, were exhibited, most for the first time. They included diamond-intensive timepieces retailing for more than $249,000 as well as Jaeger-Le Coultre’s reversible ring watch, with the smallest mechanical movement ever produced.

The watches were presented in 12 categories. Among them were celebrity watches (“Ally McBeal’s” Montblanc and Madonna’s Ebel); futuristic styling (such as Jorg Hysek’s “The Hysek”); use of cutting-edge materials (as in Tag Heuer’s titanium and rubber watch, whose lithium battery lasts for seven years) and watches for serious sports enthusiasts and professionals (like Boucheron’s Chronogolf, which has a game indicator and a course hole counter displaying the strokes played per hole).

Citizen Is Official Timer for Louis Vuitton Races

Citizen Watch Co., Lyndhurst, N.J., will return as the official timer and sponsor of the prestigious Louis Vuitton Cup challenger races for the America’s Cup. This is the third time that Citizen has served as official timer of this event. (It also served that function in 1992 and 1995.)

The races will be held off New Zealand between Oct. 18, 1999 and Jan. 25, 2000. The winner will challenge New Zealand’s team, the America’s Cup defender, in February 2000.

About 20 of Citizen’s retailers will be able to win all- expenses-paid round trips to the races, based on their sales of Citizen watches this fall.

Tag Heuer’s Alter Ego Pursues Women’s Market

Tag Heuer has introduced Alter Ego, its first women’s watch collection. Women currently provide 30% of the brand’s sales. It aims to increase that to 40% in less than three years.

The brand’s new focus on women is symbolized in its new advertising campaign and a traveling photo exhibit. Both feature pictures by fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh of five women who, says a company spokesman, “embody the duality of beauty and strength” symbolized by Alter Ego. The five are tennis star Monica Seles; runner Marion Jones, the world’s fastest woman; world champion swimmer Franziska van Almsick; and Academy Award-nominated actresses Helena Bonham Carter and Kristin Scott Thomas, who is also

the brand’s newly signed ambassador. Carter and Thomas are the first non-sports personalities used by Tag Heuer in its advertising.

The ad campaign has already broken in the United States.

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