Maximal Art back in watches

Maximal Art, a Philadelphia-based costume jewelry firm, is moving back into the watch market after a two-year absence.

At the August market week, the firm is launching watches designed in the same feeling as Maximal Art’s new nature jewelry theme, introduced in March.

The collection includes sterling silver and 18-karat gold plated white metal, shaped like pebbles, artifacts and twigs. “We thought the nature-inspired cast-metal shapes from our new jewelry collection would translate well into watches,” said John Wind, an owner. “We also saw room in the market for artistic watches at moderate price points.”

He projected first-year sales of $550,000 for the watches. The watches wholesale for $75 with a suede strap, and $110 with a chain bracelet strap.

The watch collection has different combinations of three faces, four cases and five bands. “They can be ordered in all combinations,” said Wind.

In August 1986, Maximal Art introduced what Wind calls multiple watches, each of which was a bracelet made of four retro-style watch faces. “Those multiple watches did very well, but they were knocked off so much, they were no longer special,” Wind explained, saying the firm stopped making them toward the end of 1987.

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