PARAMUS, N.J., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Movado Group, Inc. (NYSE:
MOV), sadly announced that its founder and Chairman of the Board, Gedalio
Grinberg, passed away on January 4, 2009. Mr. Grinberg was 77 years old.
"My father was a great man who touched many lives through his generosity
as a business leader, a philanthropist, and a patron of the arts," commented
Efraim Grinberg, President and Chief Executive Officer. "He will be sorely
missed by his family, his friends, employees and customers. My father's
entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, and remarkable accomplishments led to his
distinguished 60-year career, which was honored when he became the first
recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jewelry Information Center.
He established Movado Group's heritage as a brand builder with distinctive
imaging across a powerful portfolio of brands and geographic markets. My
father's passion for the watch industry and for our business will live on. We
will continue to apply the knowledge and wisdom that we've learned from him
since starting our company in 1961 as we remain focused on positioning Movado
Group as a leader in the watch industry."
Gedalio Grinberg was born in Cuba in 1931 and came to the United States in
1960 after Castro's takeover. Mr. Grinberg possessed a deep and abiding
appreciation for the United States. As he once said, "This is the best
country in the world, no question about that. Here I am a Cuban from a Jewish
background, with an accent, and I never feel like a foreigner in this country.
It is a country of opportunity. What happened to me here could not happen
anywhere else in the world." Once in the U.S., he became the exclusive
distributor for Piaget and Corum watches in the Americas and founded the North
American Watch Company, which today is known as Movado Group. After
establishing a $30 million plus business with only two brands, Mr. Grinberg
made the strategic decision to shift the Company's focus on designing,
manufacturing, distributing and marketing its own brands and as a licensee.
The Company acquired the prestigious Concord watch brand four years later.
Mr. Grinberg is widely regarded as a visionary in the watch industry for
recognizing the potential cache of luxury watches and marketing them
accordingly. In an interview conducted in 2008, Mr. Grinberg stated, "Watches
measure time and I have always been fascinated by what a person does with
their time." In a landmark move, Mr. Grinberg acquired Movado in 1983 and
transformed it from a small Swiss watchmaker into a world-recognized brand. A
sophisticated marketer and arts' enthusiast, Mr. Grinberg realized the
marketing potential of associating Movado and the Museum Watch with cultural
pursuits. Throughout Gedalio Grinberg's leadership the Company has proudly
sponsored some of this country's most prestigious cultural institutions:
Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, John F. Kennedy Center for the
Performing Arts, American Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet, and many others.
An avid collector of modern art, Mr. Grinberg was a personal friend of
Andy Warhol's and collaborated with him to design the first Movado Artists'
Series watch. Following this innovative partnership, Mr. Grinberg
commissioned such world renowned artists as Arman, Agam, James Rosenquist, Max
Bill, and Romero Britto to create their own limited edition watch for the
Mr. Grinberg's lifelong passion for the arts has been expressed through
his support of the work TimeSculpture at Lincoln Center, designed by noted
architect Philip Johnson. This 18-foot-tall bronze clock tower, installed in
Dante Park in front of Lincoln Center's Josie Robertson Plaza in May 1999, was
made possible by a donation from Mr. and Mrs. Grinberg, as well as a corporate
sponsorship by Movado Group.
Today, Movado Group encompasses nine distinct watch brands that address a
multitude of lifestyles. In addition to Movado, the Company's watch portfolio
includes luxury watch brands Concord and Ebel; entry-level Swiss watch brand
ESQ, and, through licensing agreements, Coach Watches, Tommy Hilfiger Watches,
HUGO BOSS Watches, Lacoste Watches and Juicy Couture Timepieces.
Movado Group, Inc. designs, sources, and distributes Movado, Ebel,
Concord, ESQ, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, HUGO BOSS, Juicy Couture and Lacoste
watches worldwide, and operates Movado boutiques and company stores in the
SOURCE Movado Group, Inc.
CONTACT: Investor Relations, Suzanne Rosenberg
, Vice President,
or Financial Dynamics, Leigh
CO: Movado Group, Inc.