Swiss luxury watchmaker Century and its India distributor Rodeo Drive Thursday announced launch of a limited edition wristwatch with the image of Lord Venkateswara on its dial and priced at Rs.27 lakh each.
The Bangalore-based Rodeo Drive, a boutique for international brands of ultra luxury watches, exclusively commissioned Century to make the special 333 wristwatches studded with precious gems, rubies, emeralds and diamonds.
The officials of the two companies made the announcement at a news conference here.
They said bookings for the global sales of these watches started and the first day they had 15 bookings. The product will be delivered in four months.
Gowtham Udayashankar, director, marketing, Rodeo Drive, said they would donate part of the profits from the sales to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which runs the affairs of Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirupati. The donation will be used for hospital and other social service activities of TTD.
TTD executive officer L.V. Subrahmanyam said Rodeo owners approached them with the idea and offered to contribute part of sale proceeds for TTD. He found fault with those taking exception to the use of image of Lord Venkateswara in a commercial venture.
He pointed out that many people out of devotion use the image for their business and they don't require TTD's permission. He, however, clarified that TTD would never associate with anything, which is offensive or derogatory.
With this partnership with Rodeo, Century has entered the Indian market. Philip W. A. Klingenberg, president, Century, said it was the first time that they would be making watches with a religious symbol.
"Our watches are made of sapphire, which are totally different from other metal watches. The whole case is in our watch is one block of sapphire. It is very unique and gives the watch playful, lightening and unique look," he said.
The Century wristwatches have a price range of $2,500 to $500,000.