MILAN — Two new stars are shining in Giorgio Armani’s constellation of products: a deluxe watch called Borgo 21 and Armani Baby, a clothing and accessories line for infants to three-year-olds.
When designing Borgo 21, which belongs to the expanding Armani Privè collection, Armani tested the prototype repeatedly, at times on his wrist under his shirt. That’s because the designer, who advocates design and practicality in equal manner, wanted a timepiece that was as elegant as it was unobtrusive.
“I wanted the feel and look of the watch to be smooth and fluid, with as few protrusions and sharp edges as possible,” Armani said. “Much attention was given to the ergonomics of the watch, the ultimate objective being that it [fit to] the shape of the wrist.”
Borgo 21, named after Armani’s historic Milanese headquarters on Via Borgonuovo 21, is the brand’s first step into the luxury watch market. Starting Dec. 15, it will be distributed to select Giorgio Armani boutiques worldwide and fine jewelry stores. An online pre-order service will also be available to secure the $9,600 timepiece for men and women.
Customers can choose between a yellow or white gold case, beige or black dials and matching brown alligator straps or shiny black lizard ones.
Made in Switzerland by Antima, a watchmaker founded in 1919, Borgo 21 features an automatic movement.
On the baby front, mothers who splurge at Armani may now extend the habit to their newborns and infants.
Slated to bow in spring 2006, Armani Baby, which is produced in-house, will be available at 300 sales points in 32 countries. The lineup complements the Armani Junior collection and includes rompers, tops, bottoms, toys and cot linens crafted with washed denim, cashmere, cotton and linen, especially treated with washes and dyes that make them ultrasoft and comfortable. Retail prices range from $53 for T-shirts to $77 for jeans.