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March 1999


Showcase Action

More than ever, military influences sell timepieces

Fans of military-style watches captured more than a few new brands and styles in the past year. From the newly Vendome-owned Panerai to the newly expanded (in the United States) Tutima, military influences go beyond style and into substance and specifications.

Choices are wider than ever for what consumers typically accept as the military look – big Arabic numerals, generous use of tritium or other glowing indices, black dials, deep water resistance and, in some cases, a 24-hour UTC (universal time coordinated, an international time standard) indicator or dial.

Myriad brands rightly claim authentic military roots: IWC with pilots, Breguet's French Air Force designs, Hamilton's use by the U.S. Army in World War II, Panerai's watches for the Italian Navy, Bell & Ross/Sinn in Germany and others.

Seen and requested just as often these days are brands with military style but no direct military connection beyond a licensing agreement. Check out the Timex Humvee or Citizen's Navihawk.

"Consumers want products that have been used by the government and professionally," says Tutima President Jens-Deiter Halle. "Military items give consumers instant respect and are sought after for their style."

Tutima, for example, distributes the German-made NATO Air Force Chronograph and other watches for military use but also to jewelry stores. Tutima has seen enough growth in recent years to add U.S. distribution and move to larger facilities. The new address is Tutima USA Inc., 20710 Manhattan Place, Suite 100, Torrance, CA 90501; (310) 381-2929, fax (310) 381-2930,

– by Michael Thompson

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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