August 27, 2004
Correction: Nobel Watch Plans to Raise "Significant Funds"
Nobel Watch Co., known for its popular designs and catchy advertising slogan, expects to raise "significant funds" in a private placement offering prior to becoming a public company not $200,000, as previously reported by Professional Jeweler. The magazine regrets the error. Nobel declines to put a specific figure on the amount it hopes to raise, other than to label it "significant." After financing concludes, Nobel will be assisted by Laconia Capital and Marketing Financial Group to become a full-fledged public company. Future financing will then be arranged as follow-on public offerings, the exercising of warrants or through traditional credit channels.
Nobel, popular with independent jewelers for its attention to customer service, is also offering present and future authorized dealers a unique warrant program. The program allows retailers who want to invest in Nobel Watch a chance to purchase up to 200,000 warrants (exchangeable later for stock and worth up to $200,000) on a first come, first serve basis. The plan awards retailers 1,000 warrants for each $10,000 order of Nobel watches. Retailers are asked only to pay for the merchandise within 60 days of invoice.
The new capital Nobel raises will be used primarily for national advertising to promote brand recognition for the Nobel name, and to provide co-op advertising support to its retailer network. The company has already achieved high consumer recognition for its advertising slogan "You didn't get the Nobel Prize, but you can get a Nobel watch."
Nobel was started eight years ago by Israel Genuth and former partner Barry Fink, to target the midpriced consumer market. Today, most models are available at prices ranging from $275 to $995 suggested retail. The company added eight new models this year. The watches are known for their distinct designs, and their accurate Swiss Quartz and automatic mechanical movements.Scratch-free sapphire crystals on some models have a distinctive geometric pattern that is integral with the watchcase and bracelet design. The Paragon Collection has been particularly popular, due to the patented curvature of the case and matching crystal. The design has been awarded a U.S. patent.
Nobel's designs are based on solid stainless steel combined with tungsten, 18k gold accents and 18k gold plating, with varying combinations of high polish and brushed finish. Some designs are accented with crystal and diamonds.
Nobel has made an initial entry into the exclusive segment of the watch market with a solid 18k gold watch design enhanced with diamonds throughout the bezel, dial and bracelet. The company also plans a new collection called Signature, which will feature limited-edition watches designed to fit into the fashion elegance, sports and chronograph market segments.
Nobel backs its retailers with in-store and in-showcase displays, transparencies and special watch tools. Its co-op advertising program includes ready-to-print material for the retailer with a commitment to use up to 15-20% of the advertising budget for the co-op program. Nobel also backs its watches with product warranties that range from two to five years.
by Peggy Jo Donahue