NEW YORK — Movado Group Inc. is broadening its portfolio of brands in a deal with Lacoste.

The Paramus, N.J.-based firm signed a long-term licensing agreement with the French sportswear house on Tuesday that will start Jan. 1 to create men’s and women’s timepieces. The Lacoste collection will bow next spring at the Baselworld Watch & Jewelry Show in Basel, Switzerland, and will begin retailing for the spring season in Lacoste boutiques worldwide, as well as through select watch retailers and better department stores.

Prices will range from $195 to $595, although it is too soon to determine the size of the collection, said Rick Cote, Movado’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

“We have a very selective licensing strategy in place, and we only choose brands that will round out our portfolio,” Cote said. “We think Lacoste is an exceptional name in the marketplace and we believe we can further build the brand to be a leader in the watch category.”

The firm already designs, manufactures and distributes watches under the Movado, Ebel, Concord, ESQ, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss brand names. It is preparing to launch its first watch collection for Juicy Couture in the fall and also collaborated with Proenza Schouler on a limited-edition version of its Movado brand Museum Watch.

Philippe Lacoste, external relations director for the 73-year-old French brand, said Lacoste chose Movado because it is also a family business and because it has a long-term view of high quality.

“Our aesthetic is about relaxed elegance,” he said. “We want to create a watch collection that fits with that spirit.”

This story first appeared in the March 29, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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