Omega launches India's costliest watch line

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BOMBAY--Swiss watchmaker SMH has launched in India its Omega Jewellery Collection only a year after supermodel Cindy Crawford, the Omega spokesperson, dazzled the country's elite by personally introducing the lower priced My Choice range of watches.

Arguably India's costliest range of watches, the collection comprises timepieces studded with gems encased in precious metals like gold and silver, and prices ranging from $5,700 to $50,000. India is only the third market, after Switzerland and China, to retail this new Omega line.

"You are selling [the Omega Jewellery Collection] to someone who sees a watch as not only being a watch but also a gem," says Venanzio Ciampa, international marketing director for Omega at Bienne, Switzerland.

The marketer will use a combination of traditional advertising, PR, events, scholarships to fashion students, charity and an association with the glamorous world of fashion to attract customers.

Ad agency Hindustan Thompson Associates, Bombay, will use creative executed in-house by SMH and launch the effort in fashion and business magazines, billboards and through the Omega web site. A catalogue featuring Indian beauty queens, who have been signed to endorse Omega, will be mailed to upper-crust prospects.

Rohit Bal, India's leading fashion designer, has also been co-opted to push Omega through his fashion shows. "This is the first time such a brand has been linked to fashion in India," says Ravi Thakran, regional general manager-South Asia at the Swatch Group in Singapore.

The Omega Jewellery Collection, like its sibling My Choice line, will retail in 22 stores Indiawide.

Copyright December 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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