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The UK’s Giftware Association has just unveiled the finalists of its prestigious annual Gift of the Year Awards, revealing a sparkling selection of the nation’s most exciting gifts for 2007.

France Designs range of exclusive AKTEO Watches, a collection of intricately designed thematic watches made in France with Swiss movements, has been shortlisted in not just one but three categories; Art Gallery, Collect It and Gift & Fashion Jewellery. The range can be viewed at www.exprimez-vous.co.uk

The Oscars of the Giftware world – the Gift of the Year Awards are always an excellent indicator of what’s going to be hot this Christmas. Now in its 28th year, the 2007 Awards have heralded a record number of entries of those hoping to be crowned as this year’s ‘must-have’ Christmas gift.

Isabel Martinson, chief executive, The Giftware Association, says, “Only the most original and innovatively designed products have made it this far. It’s a 10 billion pound industry and only the best get through! Each company has had to demonstrate that its product captures current trends, has consumer appeal and is commercially viable. All of the finalists involved this year are exceptional and judging the winners of each category is going to be a difficult task!”

The awards recognise outstanding innovation in new products across eighteen categories from classical through to contemporary and including cookware, eco-friendly products through to children’s gifts, wellbeing products and those made in the UK – as well as an ‘under ten pounds’ category – perfect for those festive stocking fillers!.

Watch out for every occasion!

Sabrina Rochemont at AKTEO’s UK distributor, France Designs Limited, believes that it is the combination of innovative design and the high quality of the watches which has ensured its place as a finalist on the list of the nation’s most exciting gifts for 2007:

“AKTEO watches are fun and exciting and answer the demand for quality personal gifts and self-expression. The Gift of The Year Awards is an excellent indicator of what’s going to be hot this Christmas and therefore, we are absolutely delighted to have been announced as finalists.”

The three watches chosen as finalists for the Gift of the Year Award were Haute Couture, the Violin and the Author (illustrated).

Celebrating its Diamond Anniversary, the Giftware Association has been supporting and promoting the UK’s gift and home industry for 60 years. As the industry’s national trade body, it represents over 1,500 companies which between them employ over 20,000 people in areas as far-ranging as manufacturing, importing / exporting, wholesale, distribution, design, retail, publishing as well as craftsmen and sector specialists.

The winners will be announced at a glittering Awards ceremony on Tuesday 19 June 2007 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

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