|Swatch Watches Go On Sale Beginning Today Adoption of Swatch "Internet Time" on ICQ Makes Global Online Communication Simpler and More Convenient|
ICQ ("I Seek You"), a world leading online communications community and international service from America Online, Inc., and Swatch, the world's most innovative watch company, of The Swatch Group Ltd , the largest manufacturer and distributor of finished watches in the world, today announced the availability of a collection of Swatch watches celebrating the collaboration between ICQ and Swatch. Developed by Swatch five years ago as a universal time reference, "Internet Time" does away with time zones and helps to facilitate communication and collaboration between people around the world.
Rather than running on a 24-hour clock, "Internet Time" is based on 1000 ".beats" per day. One Swatch ".beat" is the equivalent of 1 minute, 26.4 seconds and is uniform regardless of the time zone. With "Internet Time", ICQ users will now be able to more easily manage their time online, especially when communicating with friends, family and other contacts in different countries and time zones.
The two Swatch watches inspired by the world of ICQ go on sale today in ten countries worldwide as well as on the Swatch website.
"Over the past 6 years, ICQ has been instrumental in bringing the online world together by making real time communication between users seamless and simple, " said Mark Bernstein General Manager of ICQ. "By working with Swatch to integrate Internet Time into the ICQ service as well as making available a collection of Swatch watches, we are making it even easier for our users to function in the global community."
Michele Sofisti, President of Swatch said, "Swatch Internet Time breaks down the barriers of time zones and grants greater freedom in scheduling while ICQ grants them greater ease in carrying out that communication."
The new Swatch watches feature ICQ's green petal icon and other images associated with the popular instant messaging service. One Swatch, "Green Petal", features an image of the ICQ green petal logo across a colored silicon band with a clear plastic case encircled in lemon green, and allows users to switch from standard to "Internet Time" by just pressing the crown. "Blue Icon", the second watch in the collection, features a clear plastic case on a blue plastic strap with a personal space on the back of the strap for users to note down their ICQ Number.
The watches can be viewed by visiting http://www.swatch.com/icq.
In addition to the new watches, ICQ has integrated "Internet Time" across its website and directly in versions of its client. Within the ICQ client, "Internet Time" resonates on each user's chat function, keeping them constantly aware of the current global time. ICQ users can also use the "ICQ Time Panel" on ICQ.com to convert "Internet Time" to the standard time anywhere in the world. The current "Internet Time" will also be posted on the ICQ homepage 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Using "Internet Time" is made even easier with the new Swatch ICQ client that can be downloaded within the "ICQ Goodies" area at http://www.icq.com/products/goodies/index.html and directly from the Swatch site at http://www.swatch.com/icq.
ICQ is wholly owned by America Online, Inc. ICQ was created in 1996 by the Israel-based company, Mirabilis, and acquired by AOL in 1998. ICQ is a world leading communications community with over 150 million registered users worldwide. On days when connected to ICQ, users spend an average of over 4.5 hours on the service. ICQ offers the most robust instant messaging and enhanced communications features in the market today. The product is available for free at www.icq.com.
Swatch is a company of The Swatch Group, the world's largest watch producer and distributor, and owner of 18 world class brands such as Breguet, Blancpain, Glashutte-Original/Union, Jaquet-Droz, Leon Hatot, Omega, Longines, Rado, Tissot, Calvin Klein, Pierre Balmain, Certina, Mido, Hamilton, Swatch, Flik Flak and Endura. The Swatch Group is a Partner of the International Olympic Committee and the Official Timekeeper and Data Handler of the Olympic Games through 2010.