Cross Announces Partnership with Solar Time Ltd.
A.T. Cross Company, Lincoln, R.I., announced a licensing agreement with Solar Time Ltd., a long-established multi-national watch manufacturer and distributor, for the right to co-develop, market and distribute fine timepieces under the Cross brand name.
The agreement affords Solar Time the rights to design, produce, sell and market Cross watches on a global basis.
"Cross is a globally known and respected iconic brand name representing the best in class reputation for excellence in writing instruments," said Vishal Tolani, director of Solar Time Ltd. "We see tremendous potential in extending this heritage and legacy of quality to a new line of timepieces drawing their design cues from the iconic shapes that make up the writing instrument range."
"The combined power of Solar Time's watch manufacturing expertise, Cross' brand name, and the potential of the two company's global distribution reach is very significant," Tolani added.
Headquartered in Hong Kong, Solar Time Ltd. has been designing and manufacturing timepieces for a number of watch retailers and brands since 1977. The company has already showcased some of the new Cross pieces in its native country at the Hong Kong Watch Show.
"The trade reaction exceeded our initial expectations, and we are in the final stages of negotiations with a number of retailers and distributors that will see the product in the market place in the spring of 2012. There is a high demand for classic, quality, branded merchandise at affordable price points in today's market, and Cross hits the sweet spot," Tolani said.
Chad Mellen, president of Cross Accessory Division, said, "We have known for a long time that the Cross name translates well into other categories outside of pens and journals. We have had significant success in-house with readers, cufflinks, leather goods and watches. We also felt that we could significantly build on this success by partnering with companies who have global expertise in design, manufacturing, distribution and marketing, and who shared our vision for the iconic Cross name. After careful discussions, we are sure that Solar Time is the ideal partner in the watch market, and our expectations for the marketplace are high."
"We are actively seeking to make inroads in other categories where the Cross name has real leveragability," Mellen added. "We have recently appointed Steve Markwell, formerly our European managing director, to lead the global development of Cross business in categories beyond pens and journals. We see this as an area of significant future growth."
For more information, visit Cross' website.