Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff is getting into the watch business in a linkup with Movado.

The two firms have embarked on a multiyear partnership that will launch private-label watches in Minkoff’s name. The line will encompass both men’s and women’s styles. Smartwatch capabilities are being mulled for the future.

The designs, to launch in summer, will be priced from $125 to $295 — in alignment with Rebecca Minkoff’s costume jewelry pricing model, according to the brand’s chief executive officer Uri Minkoff. The designs will exclusively be sold at Rebecca Minkoff stores and on its web site, as well as at Nordstrom.

The Rebecca Minkoff brand, which has excelled in maneuvering in the digital space, still feels that the analog watch category makes sense, given this approach to product as design pieces rather than just functional, licensed goods.

Said Minkoff: “Yes, fashion watches are taking a bit of a hit, but I think one thing we did look at is the contemporary jewelry space, which has been explosive over the last several years. We’ve seen a number of different brands in the costume jewelry space do really well. So we are not just taking a look at it as a watch, but also as a piece of jewelry, an accessory with a pricing structure that relates more to that category than the timepiece category.

“Having a fashion watch at let’s say $300 to $400 when a full smartwatch is in that zone, is probably not a great price-value ratio…. We hope we can lead a resurgence with how we are approaching the market,” Minkoff said of the brand’s watch ethos.

The brand will look to Rebecca Minkoff fashion hallmarks — gunmetal-tone hardware, guitar straps and more, for design cues. Samples are still in production, and therefore images have yet to be released.

“I think we did a really good job at identifying the treatments we are known for in our handbags, while taking some of our best-selling jewelry items and adding a time component to them,” Minkoff said of the forthcoming range.

Efraim Grinberg, ceo and chairman of Movado said of the tie-up: “We are really [pleased] about the partnership with Rebecca Minkoff; it is a really great venue to design beautiful watches with Rebecca, it’s a collaboration for younger consumers at an accessible price point.”

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