Swiss watch brand Fortis has expanded their private label business to North America in partnership with their regional distributor the Gevril Group. Private label watches are those that have your own marking, logo, or image on the dial next to the Fortis logo. This is in contrast to white labeled watches which only have your logo printed on them (and not the producer).
Why is this cool? Private label wrist watches aren't difficult to get, but high-end ones are. If you want wrist watches with your logo on it, you usually need to settle for much less expensive watches that don't always fit the bill. Most higher-end brands that share logo space on their dials do so only after entering into partnership or ambassador agreements with various people and organizations. Having the ability to private label name-brand Swiss mechanical watches just isn't that easy.
Fortis' private label program seems a lot more simple. Minimum orders seem to be around 15-25 pieces depending on the watch to be customized. You can't private label any Fortis watch, but they offer enough of their collection to be used for this purpose. Who can private label a watch? Well not just anyone. Fortis will still technically have the right to deny any private label project if they don't feel that the name or image of the group, event, or organization makes sense to be seen next to their brand name. You can't be too careful if you are the Swiss.
The best part is likely to be the cost (comparatively speaking). When ordering a bulk of watch that will not be sold into a retail environment you get a very good price. Retail prices on many of their watches are from under $1,000 or about $4,000. Figure that even with private labeling services, the wholesale costs on getting them in bulk should be very attractive and well below retail. Here are some more details directly from Fortis and the Gevril Group:
"Fortis is opening up its Private Label Program to any US or Canadian business or group wanting fine Swiss timepieces for members, staff, or clients at costs far below their respective retail prices. Buying in bulk gets a great price. We reduce prices substantially for our private label customers. Of course, the final cost will depend upon quantity required, colors used, and any add-ons, such as engraving the watch back (e.g., “2012 top sales division,” “National Pennant winners, 2012″). Fortis offers private label clients a wide selection of mechanical timepieces, as well as watches from its lower-retail Fortis Colors quartz line, and only 25 watches are needed for a minimum order. Delivery can take from two weeks to six months, depending on the number of watches ordered and the extent of customization requested."
In addition to lower priced quartz models, many of Fortis' best mechanical watches in their aviator (and otherwise) collections are offered. Chronograph models with already busy dials might be hard to private label, but that doesn't mean you can't opt for special colors and caseback engravings. I think that this is a really good idea for any group or event that wants to produce a meaningful item for their members. The type of item that is more than a cheap giveaway and represents something people would actually like to wear. If you are interested in Fortis private label services then you can contact the Gevril Group.