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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ferragamo Taps Hollywood Glamour For Signature Watch Line

Salvatore Ferragamo, the iconic Italian luxury brand, unveiled a new watch collection during an anniversary celebration of its long history with the movie industry.

The Salvatore Ferragamo Signature Collection is a colorful line of ladies timepieces with the central design feature based on the “gancio,” the brand’s iconic Florentine symbol. The watches are paired with bold colorful sunglasses in the same style as the watch.

From left: Michelle Monaghan, Ferragamo Creative Director Massimiliano Giornetti, and  Julianne Moore at Ferragamo’s celebration of its 100-year relationship with the movie industry where The Signature Collection of watches and sunglasses was unveiled. used its 100-year anniversary celebration in New York.

The collection debuted in New York December 9 during a star-studded celebration of its 100-year relationship with the movie industry. Julianne Moore, Michelle Monaghan and Russell Simmons were among the celebrities attending the event in a space converted into the fantasy world of “Gancio Studios.” with movie sets representing the century-long partnership.

The multimedia installations featured movie sets from the past 100 years that included baby pink bedroom scenes, a virtual ride in a real vintage Ferrari and classic outdoor Mediterranean settings. A screening room premiered “Ferragamo Signature,” a contemporary film celebrating the Ferragamo Gancio, and starring Elettra Wiedemann and Ethan Peck, the heirs of, Salvatore Ferragamo’s friends and customers, Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck.

Throughout the venue there were displays of The Signature Collection of watches and sunglasses, including a display of watches suspended on strings.

Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

The gancio (the Italian word for hook) is the most recognizable symbol of Ferragamo. For the timepieces, the symbol crafted into the watch lugs (which connects the strap to the case of a watch), folding over the top and bottom of the dial.

“The ornament becomes an organic and intrinsic symbol of quality and craftsmanship in the collection,” said Paolo Marai, president and CEO of the Timex Group Swiss Luxury Division, a division of Timex Group.

The 38mm watches are available in stainless steel ion plated gold or two-tone metal finishes and are powered by a Swiss quartz movement.

The other main design feature for this watch collection is the variety of colors on its guilloché sunray dials and its leather straps that includes fuchsia, grey and orange.

The watches will sell within the $1,000 to $2,000 range, not including a handful of limited edition pieces, Marai said. They are now available at Ferragamo boutiques around the world just in time for Christmas. Wholesale distribution will begin in January

While the watches carry the Ferragamo brand, the design, manufacture and worldwide distribution of the watches are handled by the Timex Group Swiss Luxury Division, Lugano, Switzerland, under a 15-year licensing agreement with Ferragamo, Marai said. Timex pays Ferragamo royalties on each watch sold and consults with the luxury brand on the designs of products to ensure they are “on brand.”

The partnership began in 2007 and watch sales have experienced solid growth since then, Marai said. He expects 10 percent increase in sales in 2015.

Marai, whose division has similar arrangements with fashion brands Versace and Nautica, says surprisingly men make up more than half of Ferragamo’s watch sales. Normally fashion watches are far more popular among women.

“Ferragamo is quite amazing because we have been mostly successful for men,” said Marai, an Italian native who now lives in Lugano. “It’s quite surprising for us considering the brand’s positioning and considering that a fashion watch for us is mostly popular for women than for men.”

Another unusual aspect of Ferragamo customers is they prefer classic, conservative timepieces over more fashion oriented watches. “Our watch collection is quite strong but not very much fashion driven, so our pieces were very classic conservative pieces. We want to embrace more of the fashion sectors.”

So the newest version of The Signature Collection is being paired with matching women’s sunglasses as an attempt to boost fashion watch sales among women.

The main markets for this watch collection are in Asia, the Middle East, other emerging markets and the US, Marai said. He describes the emerging markets as being good for fashion brands. The US, on the other hand, is a huge, wealthy market that is more diverse with demand for classic and fashion watches. He sees very little opportunity for sales in Europe.

“In the emerging markets there’s a stronger sensitivity toward fashion brands. This is unlike Europe and the United States where the consumer has a long tradition with watches. Emerging markets don’t have this kind of culture. People were not even capable of buying a watch 10 years ago, he said. “So a brand like Ferragamo can easily to compete with the traditional watchmakers.”

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