Philipp Plein Adds Skulls and Bones to Watches

Watch brands need to have strong identities, said Paolo Marai, a Timex executive who is also chief executive of the new Swiss company WorldTime Watches & Jewelry. “The space on the watch is very small,” he said, “so you need the symbol that can be easily identified by the end consumers.”

Enter Philipp Plein, the German fashion designer well known for his maximalist approach to style (mink-trimmed football jerseys) and fashion shows (monster trucks shooting fire or even an Ibiza-in-outer-space rave).

The WorldTime company now has a licensing agreement with Philipp Plein International, and intends to work with the Timex Group to develop and produce a collection of Philipp Plein watches and, later, jewelry. Mr. Marai is president and chief executive of Timex’s Luxury Division, which already produces watch collections for Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, Missoni and others.

“Details are one of the main characteristics of my collections because details make the difference,” Mr. Plein wrote in an email. “That’s why I’ve decided to complete and give something more to my collections.”

His men’s and women’s models, scheduled to debut in November, include the $kull ($530), a hexagonal PP pattern with a 3-D skull in the center, and the $keleton ($950), which features an automatic movement that is visible through a skull-and-bones motif on the dial, and multicolored baguette crystals as accents. The designs will be sold in Philipp Plein boutiques, online and through selected retailers.

“I would expect at the very beginning, 80 percent of the consumers’ being consumers that already know the brand,” said Mr. Marai, who said he often saw Philipp Plein advertisements during his travels through airports.

For Darcey Jupp, an associate apparel analyst at GlobalData, a market research company, the Philipp Plein brand is “for that person who prefers a bit more contemporary designs rather than, like, timeless pieces you see from some heritage brands.”

“You don’t expect a simple watch from Philipp Plein,” she said. “You expect something extravagant, something that perhaps that customer who likes that sort of thing might have been missing in the watch market.”

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