Watch brand Versus is set to make a comeback in the UK market through distributor Accurist after the Versace Group brand was closed down in 2005.
While Versus watches had enjoyed successes over the years the decision was made to close down the operation to focus more heavily on the main Versace watch lines, but now the brand, which is licensed by Timex Group, has been brought back to life and is making a push into the UK.
The brand will be distributed by Accurist in the UK. It has already secured Harrods and Selfridges as stockists and sales director Paul Halliday said that he is planning to push the distribution wider from October with a focus on retail jewellers and fashion boutiques.
Accurist is the UK distributor of other Timex Group brands Versace and Ferragamo, and so Halliday said that the partnership is a perfect fit. He added: “The Versus watches licence returned to Versace and launched in Italy last year and it has been decided to launch to a wider consumer base across selected European countries in 2012. Having collaborated with Timex Group Luxury Division in the UK for many years, the experience and understanding of the UK watch market has held Accurist in good stead to develop these brands long term.”
The brand is being positioned to hit the mid-level fashion market, with RRPs for the watches ranging from £120 to £240. The watches have been designed to reflect the clothing from the Versus fashion label and Donatella Versace will have sign-off on all the watches under the Versus brand.
Halliday said: “With the shifting sands in the designer and fashion watch market, the time is right for a prestigious Italian fashion brand to launch in the UK. The brand is internationally recognised, which means its consumer markets are both the UK mainstream and also those that reflect an obvious continental appeal. This will be exemplified in our diverse preferred stockists.”