Byline: Melanie Kletter

NEW YORK — Movado Group Inc., a longtime benefactor of the arts, is stepping up its commitments this spring with the sponsorship of a number of cultural events around town.
The watch and retail company kicked off its celebration of culture last Thursday with a cocktail party at its SoHo store held as a tribute to the 25th anniversary of the New Museum of Contemporary Art here. Among the guests were artist Alex Katz and American Ballet Theatre principal dancers Irina Dvorovenko and Paloma Herrera.
“We thought it was appropriate after Sept. 11 to support the New Museum and send a message that downtown is back and strong,” said Efraim Grinberg, president and chief executive officer of Movado, on Thursday night. “We have always been involved in the arts and we wanted to add some new ones, especially since a lot of institutions need help now.”
He said Movado looks for organizations and activities that are “at the top of their game” and to which its consumers can relate, such as ballet and jazz.
Movado is a co-sponsor of the New Museum’s 25th Anniversary Gala Benefit, planned for next Sunday evening. A limited-edition watch designed by Andy Warhol for Movado will be auctioned, and musician Petula Clark is being flown in from London to perform her classic hit “Downtown.”
Other Movado special events on tap this spring include sponsorship of events and galas for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Jazz at Lincoln Center and the American Ballet Theater. One of its Lincoln Center events, “Comin’ Home to Harlem,” will be held at the Apollo Theater and will feature performances by Wynton Marsalis, Stevie Wonder and tap dancer Savion Glover.
In addition, Movado will cohost a free concert by violinist Sarah Chang at the Tourneau TimeMachine store here in May.
The company recently returned from the World, Watch & Jewelry Show in Basel Switzerland, where it showed off its newest collection of watch styles, including additions to its Movado Elliptica and Concord Saratoga lines as well as new Movado SE watches with straps made of vintage denim. Grinberg said the company saw a lot of American buyers at the show and that retailers came prepared to shop.
“The economy is getting better and we have had a strong spring business,” he noted.

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