MILAN — Benetton Group SpA has signed a joint-venture agreement with U.S. watch maker Timex and German group Junghans Uhren GmbH to create, produce and distribute a new line of watches and alarm clocks under the Benetton name.
The company, to be based in Italy, will be called Benetton Time SpA and will be 52 percent controlled by Benetton.
“The idea is to use efficient, well-established manufacturers, with good design and an established retail network already in existence,” a Benetton spokeswoman said. She said the accord foresees the sale of about 5 million timepieces a year.
The spokeswoman said the new joint venture will replace a previous accord with Bulova and Eco Suisse that expires in June.
The new line will be designed by Giorgio Galli, who set up the Swatch lab, with supervision by Benetton. It will be distributed in Benetton stores, department stores, jewelry chains, mail-order catalogs and duty-free shops, starting in the fall.
Retail prices will range from $60 to $120.
Under terms of the accord, Timex will produce the quartz watches and distribute the new line in North America and Asia. Junghans will produce the alarm clocks and handle distribution in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South America, Australia and New Zealand.