Exciting Developments at Iconic Watch Retailer Tourneau

by John Sealander  

Ira Melnitsky and Ferragamo Watches:
Two Luxury Superstars Join the Tourneau Family

Salvatore Ferragamo WatchesWhen luxury retail veteran Ira Melnitsky was recently tapped to become the new CEO of Tourneau, he wasn’t the only familiar name to join the Tourneau family. For the first time, Tourneau will also be carrying a select line of Ferragamo watches.

Ira Melnitsky New CEO of TourneauAlthough these developments are unrelated, both names are a good fit for the luxury watch retailer. Ira Melnitsky, who will join Tourneau on October 16, has over 24 years of experience in luxury retailing. He has been the accessories buyer at Lord & Taylor and most recently served as the president of the home and better handbag divisions of LF USA.

The recent appointment was announced by Tourneau chairman Robert Wexler, who said in a prepared statement that Melnitsky “will do a great job of serving our customers and representing Tourneau’s partner brands.” One of these brands will soon include fashion powerhouse Ferragamo.

The popularity of Ferragamo timepieces has not gone unnoticed at Tourneau. Ferragamo watches are a natural extension of the Ferragamo brand. They have successfully combined the classic styling elegance of Ferragamo’s famous bags and shoes with precision Swiss craftsmanship to create a masterful collection of luxury watches that appeal to both fashionistas and watch aficionados.

Ferragamo Watches AdThe addition of Ferragamo to the Tourneau lineup is a win-win situation for Ira Melnitsky and Tourneau. Ferragamo customers are very loyal to the brand, and Tourneau’s network of 30 watch stores will give them a convenient new venue to look for their favorite fashion accessory.

Savvy Tourneau shoppers will benefit from the new relationship as well. Ferragamo watches are one of a small handful of fashion watches to be taken seriously by watch aficionados. The unwavering attention to detail and impeccable craftsmanship of a Ferragamo timepiece continues to set this iconic brand apart from other fashion brands.

You can look for Tourneau to continue its growth under Ira Melnitsky’s leadership. You’ll also be able to look for Ferragamo watches at your favorite Tourneau store.

Gevril Group US and Caribbean Agent for Ferragamo Timepieces

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the US and Caribbean agent for Salvatore Ferragamo Timepieces. You can email us or call 845-425-9882.

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Paolo Marai Vertime CEO on Future of Watch Industry

Vertime CEO Paolo Marai with Gevril President Samuel Friedmann and Jon Luigi


by John Sealander  

Few Know More About Watches than Paolo Marai
And Paolo Marai Thinks the Future Looks Bright

It’s hard to find a more knowledgeable representative of the watch industry than Paolo Marai. Paolo is President and CEO of Vertime and is responsible for some of the world’s most recognizable watch brands, including Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Versus.

Mr. Marai is very positive about the future of the watch industry, but he sees a major shift occurring in how timepieces are perceived and used. Interviewed during a visit to the prestigious Couture 2013 Watch and Jewelry Show in Las Vegas, Marai said, “More and more, watches are no longer used for timekeeping functions, they are becoming accessories, which means that the brand and the design are becoming more relevant than what is inside the watch.”


Working closely with top designers like Donatella Versace, Marai is bringing this philosophy to customers; with some of the most innovative, fashion-forward designs the watch industry has ever seen. Mr. Marai says that sometimes it takes up to a year, working with fashion superstars like Donatella, to finalize a new design, but that the wait is worth it. “There is a new generation and a new type of consumer,” says Marai. “I believe the future will be based more on fashion brands, rather than on traditional watch manufacturing.”

To meet the needs of these new fashion-forward customers, Paolo Marai is taking Vertime boldly into the future with a new emphasis on fashion and style. From the edgy youthful spirit of Versus, to the luxurious opulence of Versace, and the refined, subtle elegance of Salvatore Ferragamo, Vertime is meeting the desires of fashionistas and watch aficionados alike with fabulous new timepieces designed for the 21st Century. What will this watchmaking power player do next? You’ll probably see the answer on a fashionable wrist in the very near future.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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Karen Norman New US and Caribbean Brand Manager for Morellato and Just Cavalli

For Immediate Release

Gevril GroupThe Gevril Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Karen Norman as the new US and Caribbean brand manager for the Morellato and Just Cavalli brands. Karen comes to Gevril Group with over 20 years of sales experience within the wholesale and retail industry. Her excellent communication skills and meticulous attention to detail have resulted in impressive sales figures throughout her professional career.

As brand manager for two of the Gevril Group’s fastest growing brands, Karen will be responsible for developing new relationships with jewelry chains and key retailers to grow the market for these popular and innovative watchmakers.

Morellato is already a popular and well-respected brand in over 40 countries around the world. Now, with a spectacular new flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue, and with Karen’s unique sales expertise, the Morellato name will soon become even more familiar to watch aficionados around the country. Morellato’s signature Colours Collection, with its vibrant colors and youthful modern styles, creates a huge new opportunity to make Morellato a familiar name with fashion forward customers everywhere.

Roberto Cavalli is already a familiar name to fashionistas. His popular Just Cavalli brand is bringing his signature style to a whole new audience. Karen’s sales experience will be a valuable asset for Cavalli as she opens new markets for this trendy and surprisingly affordable brand.

Karen is a graduate of Brooklyn College and received an Associate Degree from New York’s prestigious Parsons School of Design. Her unique combination of design and sales skills will give her a big advantage when working with these two fashion forward brands. Morellato and Just Cavalli watches are available in the US and Caribbean through the Gevril Group.

About Gevril Group

Gevril Group, directed by company founder and long-time creative force in the watch business Samuel Friedmann, is the exclusive US representative for 40+ select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sporty timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers.

Gevril Group is the sole US and Caribbean agent for Morellato and Just Cavalli Watches. Meet us March 8-15, 2012 to view the colorful Morellato and fashion forward Just Cavalli exhibits at Baselworld 2012, Hall 1.1, Booth B-23. Contact Karen Norman by email or at 845-425-9882.

Lucy Korchnoy New Edox Brand Manager for the U.S. Market

For Immediate Release

Gevril Group is Pleased to Announce the Appointment of
Lucy Korchnoy as Brand Manager for Edox Watches in the U.S.

Edox Swiss WatchesLucy KorchnoyLucy Korchnoy brings her extensive watch industry expertise to Gevril Group as the new U.S. brand manager for Edox Swiss Watches. Lucy’s responsibilities will include representing and promoting Edox in the U.S., as well as building the brand’s retail network.

Prior to joining Gevril Group, Lucy Korchnoy served as General Manager for the first Frank Muller boutique in the U.S. This flagship New York City store was a showcase for Frank Muller’s sophisticated and extremely complicated timepiece creations, and Lucy, who is fluent in both English and Russian, was a key player in introducing the high-end brand to the U.S. market.

Lucy’s love of luxury watches and her knowledge of the industry will be a valuable asset to Edox as it continues to expand its retail presence in the United States. The Edox name is already familiar to discriminating customers on five continents. The Gevril Group is confident that with Ms. Korchnoy’s help, this historic and highly regarded brand will continue to build its reputation as one of Switzerland’s leading names in fine timepieces.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group, watchmaker and wholesale watch distributor, is the exclusive U.S. agent for exquisitely designed and crafted European luxury and fashion watch brands, distributing and servicing some of the best affordable luxury and Swiss watches and trendy fashion watches. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair, staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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Chronoswiss Sale Forecasts Bright Future for Fine Mechanical Timepieces

by John Sealander  

Chronoswiss WatchesThe mechanical timepiece has been declared dead many times already. Somehow, despite countless “revolutions” in the watch world, these finely crafted mechanical marvels continue to survive and even thrive. Gerd-Rüdiger Lang Who Founded Chronoswiss in 1983One of the reasons that the old world craftsmanship associated with the watchmaker’s art has experienced a renaissance in recent years are men like Gerd-Rüdiger Lang.

When Lang founded Chronoswiss in 1983, he made a commitment to making extraordinary mechanical timepieces. Although this small German company only produced about 7,000 watches a year, the company quickly gained respect among collectors and among its horological peers. Chronoswiss watches became known among watch connoisseurs around the world for their exquisitely detailed craftsmanship and innovative design.

When Lang, who is now 69 years old, announced his retirement, many feared for the future of this fine company. In today’s fragile economy, there are many who no longer appreciate the value of tradition and fine craftsmanship. Luckily, wiser minds prevailed and on January 30, 2012, Chronoswiss was sold to a Swiss entrepreneurial family who will continue the 29-year Chronoswiss tradition of manufacturing fine mechanical watches at a new, well-equipped factory in Switzerland.

Watch Industry Insider Samuel FriedmannAccording to watch industry insider Samuel Friedmann, this sale is good for the entire industry. Mr. Friedmann, who also made it possible for another historic brand to survive when he acquired Gevril Horlogerie in 2001, sees the Chronoswiss acquisition as an affirmation of the continuing demand for finely crafted timepieces.

“There is no substitute for quality,” says Friedmann. “Watchmaking is an art, and companies like Chronoswiss are bringing an appreciation for fine mechanical timepieces to a whole new generation of watch connoisseurs.”

Gerd-Rüdiger Lang, although retiring from watchmaking himself, is excited about the sale of the company he created and the new opportunities it represents. To Lang, the transition of Chronoswiss to a new team of watchmakers, working in expanded and greatly enhanced facilities, will be the culmination of a dream. With this sale, Lang’s ongoing commitment to making extraordinary timepieces can finally reach its full potential.

Chronoswiss is distributed in the United States by Chronoswiss of North America.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group, directed by company founder and long-time creative force in the watch business Samuel Friedmann, is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sporty timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers.

Gevril Group is a regular participant at Baselworld and will be available at Baselworld 2012 to familiarize you with our many watch brands exhibiting at the show. You can email us or call 845-425-9882.

Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog updates. Reader comments are welcome.

Fossil Buys Skagen Designs


by John Sealander  

Exciting New Fossil Formation Found in Denmark

Fossil WatchesRichardson, Texas based Fossil, Inc. announced on January 10, 2012 that it plans to purchase privately-held fashion watchmaker Skagen Designs for $236.8 million in a cash and stock deal. Skagen, established in the 1980’s to sell fashion watches at reasonable prices, has become an international success by capitalizing on a new generation’s growing fascination with good design and clean, minimal styles. In a world where styles are being set by objects like the iPhone and personalities like Lady GaGa, “modern” is in.

According to Fossil chief executive Kosta Kartsotis, Skagen’s clean, modern styles “have enormous potential as a lifestyle brand.” The Skagen acquisition will give Fossil, which has its roots in vintage American style, a much broader base and will help to build up its wholesale and retail distribution chain. Fossil’s last big acquisition was in 2004, when the company bought luxury watchmaker Michele.

Johan Eric WatchesWatch industry insider and owner of the contemporary Johan Eric brand, Samuel Friedmann, sees even broader implications for Fossil’s purchase of the Skagen brand. According to Friedmann, the purchase is an affirmation of the growing importance of contemporary design in the world of fashion. Modern styles used to be a small niche market in the historically traditional watch industry, but these clean, minimal designs are now attracting a much wider audience.

Skagen WatchesSkagen watches are currently available at quality retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom and many smaller stores, as well. Add a dozen Skagen company-owned stores, along with over 400 Fossil stores worldwide and the potential is not just good for the brand; it is good for the entire contemporary fashion category.

Samuel Friedmann, Owner and President of Gevril GroupSamuel Friedmann expects contemporary brands like Skagen and Johan Eric to capture even wider market share in the years ahead.

“Design esthetics are changing,” he says, “and it’s important for watch manufacturers to keep up with what is trending and be able to offer customers what they want. Fossil’s purchase of Skagen is not only good for Fossil; it is good for the industry and even more importantly; it is good for customers.”

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group, directed by company founder and long-time creative force in the watch business Samuel Friedmann, is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Additionally, Gevril Group operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers.

Gevril Group is a regular participant at Baselworld and will be available at Baselworld 2012 to familiarize you with our many watch brands that will exhibit at the show. You can email us or call 845-425-9882.

Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog updates. Comments are welcome.