By  on October 1, 2007

Mark Badgley and James Mischka describe their new watch collection as "jewelry that happens to tell time."

With black grosgrain ribbon straps, crystal detailing and chunky hardware finishes, Badgley Mischka Watches are all about fashion meets function. But with a little help from E. Gluck Corp., the licensee behind the line, these decked-out timepieces promise to serve their purpose.

Bowing for spring, Badgley Mischka Watches are the 18th category the brand has launched since starting its eveningwear collection 19 years ago. According to the design duo, this next step was an easy one.

"We've always had a fascination with watches," Badgley said. "And it felt like a very natural progression for us. E. Gluck is a big player in the industry and could appreciate what we do. They did an amazing job incorporating our signature details that harken back to our dresses."

For E. Gluck, the opportunity was equally special. The firm holds the licenses for Anne Klein and JLO by Jennifer Lopez watches, but after unveiling its partnership with Zac Posen in August and now Badgley Mischka, the company is looking forward to entering the designer-level market.

"This was a strong collaboration for us," said Mark Oppenheimer, senior vice president at E. Gluck. "From a design element, we were able to respect what these guys do, and they respected our know-how and experience in the field. There was a mutual respect as watchmakers and designers. We are also so enthusiastic about entering the better arena."

The 30 styles of Badgley Mischka Watches retail from $295 to $795, the higher range corresponding to a leather piece covered in faceted crystals and another with dangling crystals.

Badgley Mischka will bow the watches for November market, but expects to get them into doors where its other categories, such as sportswear and its new Platinum Day Bag collection, are already. Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale's are all major accounts for the brand.

"We want people to treat these watches as they would jewelry," said Badgley. "They are not everyday watches, necessarily — but we want them to make people smile."

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