TIME FOR A CELEBRATION: To mark the 25th anniversary of its watch division, Versace embarked on a series of in-store celebrations around the globe to unveil its DV-25 collection. Following a Milan party, Paolo Marai, president and chief executive officer of Timex Group’s Swiss Luxury Division, came to Beverly Hills for a cocktail party in the Rodeo Drive store on Thursday night.

“Our Asia event will be in Hong Kong and our Middle East event in Dubai, but we thought L.A. was the best place to celebrate in the U.S. because the fashion industry is fascinated by it and people are paying a lot of attention to what’s happening here,” he said.

While Marai said a quarter-century is considered young in watch years, Versace was one of the first designer clothing brands to get into the timepiece category. To mark the anniversary, Versace created a one-of-a-kind, crocodile-banded watch with a solid 18-karat gold case and 28 diamond baguettes worth $100,000 for Donatella Versace (a second watch was auctioned off for charity). The commercial DV-25 collection includes 150 limited edition watches retailing for $4,000 and a larger range retailing for $1,500.

“There are many other brands that decided to do watches in a more commercial way, targeted to aspiration consumers, but we decided to position ours on the high end,” he said. “In recent years, a lot of brands are trying to do the opposite and make things more expensive, which is not an easy move.”

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