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Swatch Group Won’t Make Calvin Klein Watches Anymore
The licensing agreement between the two companies will end when the next expiration date rolls around.
Biel/Bienne, Switzerland—After 22 years, the licensing agreement between Swatch Group and Calvin Klein Inc. is coming to an end, both companies said Tuesday.
The move comes amid a competitive environment for lower-priced timepieces, which face increasing competition from smartwatches.
Swatch Group said it’s letting the licensing agreement expire due to “the recent turbulence and uncertainties at the management level of Calvin Klein Inc., New York,” which has been closing offices, laying off employees and has seen a reshuffling in its executive ranks recently.
However, Calvin Klein owner PVH Corp. indicated in a statement posted on its website that the decision to let the license agreement end was mutual as “both partners believe that they have been unable to achieve the maximum potential in key markets.”
It said Calvin Klein is looking for a partner to continue to make jewelry and watches and will announce that partner “in due course.”
“We are very optimistic about the potential growth the watch and jewelry category holds for us,” John Van Glahn, the president of licensing at Calvin Klein Inc., said.
U.S.-based Calvin Klein Inc. and Swatch Group inked a license agreement in 1997 to create a line of quartz-powered, fashion-focused watches made by Swatch Group but branded Calvin Klein.
There are now more than 200 cK watch models sold in more than 60 countries via both retail and wholesale points of distribution, and the watches are priced between $150 and $700 approximately.
In 2004, the two companies expanded the agreement to include ck Calvin Klein jewelry.
Neither company would answer when asked when exactly the agreement will expire, but Swatch Group said for retailers that carry Calvin Klein watches and/or jewelry, there will be a transition period of about 18 months after the expiration date.
Swatch Group said it doesn’t have plans to eliminate any other brands.
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