Just last week, Accutron celebrated its birthday and honored women, as well as its newest partnership with Kool & The Gang’s Le Kool champagne. The brand hosted a “Ladies Night” event (a nod to the many women in the watch industry today) as it also unveiled new Legacy watches inspired by Le Kool champagne. The Ladies Night theme is also a play on the iconic Kool & The Gang’s song. Le Kool champagne bubbled all night.
Le Kool Champagne was founded by Robert “Kool” Bell, leader and co-founder of the Kool & The Gang band. His dream to create champagne came to fruition just a couple of years ago, after they decided to work with Estate Paul Berthelot, a Multi-Vintage producer. The Celebration champagne, along with the legacy of Kool & The Gang (which began around the same time as Accutron and its New York base began) inspired Accutron to work with Le Kool Champagne. The Legacy collection features revivals of culturally important Accutron watches.
The new Legacy Collection timepieces take inspiration from the Le Kool champagne bottles and their metallic hues. As such, Accutron revives two automatic Swiss Made Legacy styles – the “565” and “412” – and offers them in sets with three luxurious metallic straps.
My personal favorite is the “565” asymmetrical cased watch. Also referred to as the “Football Cross Hatch” watch because of the spirals incorporated into the case design when this watch first made its debut in 1966. It was worn by interior designers and architects of the time who were fans of the concept of Archimedean and Time Series spirals that start in the center and branch out around that center point. This was the design on the original watch case.
The new 565 version includes crosshatch details on the bezel to recall that American aesthetic that was once so loved. The 34mm stainless steel case boasts a crown at 4:00 instead of 3:00 and features a silvery white dial, angled hour markers and an outer minute track. It is sold with a blush-hued metallic leather strap, a gold metallic leather strap — inspired by Le Kool champagne colors – and a black metallic strap. This version sells for $1,500.
The somewhat more classical looking “412” is a bit more historically significant for the brand because this was the original design for Accutron’s Spaceview case. The new version is a 34mm gold-tone steel case with bull horn lugs and crown at 4:00. The silvery white dial is set with gold-tone applied hour markers. It also has a double boxed sapphire crystal and is water resistant to 30 meters. It is offered on a gold metallic leather strap, with additional bronze and black metallic straps. This watch sells for $1,600.
Says Robert “Kool” Bell, founder of Le Kool Champagne, “I feel my history and Accutron’s have many parallels in terms of innovation and passion. For me finding a new sound or for Accutron a new way to tell time has always been on the forefront of our thinking. It’s great to partner this amazing brand with my champagne Le Kool, which has been a passion of mine ever since touring Europe with Kool & The Gang. The new Le Kool Legacy watches inspired by our many champagnes are a moment of pride for me as I have always celebrated women through my music and in life. I gave you Ladies Night and now The First Lady. Celebrate Good Times Come on!”
“Working with a Music Icon such as Robert Kool Bell of Kool & The Gang is central to Accutron’s vision of unique partnerships tied to the wonderful and varied fabric of ‘Americana’ culture,” says Jeffrey Cohen, President of Citizen Watch America. “His love and passion for champagne represents the DNA of our brand: historic, innovative and always thinking about how yesterday can infuse the future, which has led to the creation of Le Kool, opening a new door for us to explore this bubbly and ebullient world together.”
(This article by Roberta Naas first appeared on her column on Forbes.com.)