Watch brand sets sights on India, Middle East, Far East and Americas.

Timex president Paolo Marai has told Professional Jeweller that the company is planning to increase the global presence of its watch brand Versace.

Speaking exclusively to the magazine, Marai said: "Timex has core businesses to protect, and we have new markets we’re looking at and we’re very well positioned to move into them. The Middle East is growing for us and India and China are also very fast growing, along with Brazil and Mexico. They definitely deserve our attention."


Marai added that India is another country that he feels has real potential for Versace. He said: "India is my favourite country and even though a lot of watch companies will focus on China, I believe the freedom they have in India will help economically. There’s also a lot more luxury potential in India – they’re already used to luxury products with the jewellery industry there."

The watch boss said that problems with counterfeit watches has made China a difficult market for Versace, which is no surprise for a brand like whose logo and styling is so recognisable. As a result, Marai has found that consumers in China are still nervous, even when his product is sold through respected retailers.

He explains: "We’ve found that even within multibrand retailers, because China is known for counterfeit products, even the department stores shoppers are scared of getting fake goods, and it has made it a tricky market. But there is still demand there."

Vesace Watches is exhibiting at BaselWorld this year with where it is launching several new high fashion watch lines, including a revisit to last year’s Destiny watch with the new Destiny Precious – a watch with tumbling brilliant-cut gemstones set into the bezel – and a new oval-shaped version of the brand’s best-selling Eon watch, which can be rotated to change the appearance of the watch.

For more on Timex’s plans for Versace in 2011, read our exclusive interview with Paolo Marai in the April issue of WatchPro, inside Professional Jeweller, out soon. To subscribe to Professional Jeweller and WatchPro for free, click here



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