DENVER, CO , Derrick Holmes.

Holmes is a renowned watch and jewelry designer who designed a high end line of wood faced watches, named after America's first African American clockmaker, Benjamin Banneker. Holmes has joined forces with the top business magnates of hip-hop culture for an unprecedented business venture. Through Jostens, Inc., the leading marketer of products celebrating the significant milestones of graduating seniors all over the country, the trend-setting team created a luxurious yet affordable product line that shouts self-esteem and pride in success.

"I created Esteem Enterprises (a wholly owned subsidiary of Banneker, Inc., BANI) to do the marketing for the school market and develop relevant products that resonate with today's youth," Holmes said. "My designs are about presenting a successful image. I like to honor the people I admire, whether it's in a watch's name or the image on its face. Through Banneker, Inc., Phat Farm, Baby Phat and Der�on, each took that concept and applied it to high school memorabilia, giving students products influenced by the people and styles they look up to."

The new line is inspired by hip-hop fashion, with a lot of flash and sparkle. While the materials are high quality, the prices are kept affordable through replacing diamonds with crystals and silver with stainless steel. For the Banneker Jewelry Collection, Holmes designed Class of '08, '09 and '10, rings, watches, pendants, stud and hoop earrings made with genuine wood with burl grain, crystal bezels and glass lenses.

"Some of it is 'bling-bling.' A lot of the influences are from what you see on a lot of music videos, which is what teens are buying. It's what they see and admire. It matches them," Holmes said, adding, "This style was clearly not in any catalog before us. We brought it mainstream. Though it is labeled urban style, the product line is not so much geared toward a geographic location, but it is more for people with a similar mindset. "It's not just in the 'hood or tenements. It's in the all-white countryside. It's even in 90210. It's everywhere. This year we intend to take the line worldwide."

Perhaps the most successful products in the urban style line are from Der�on, a subsidiary designing exclusively for the high school market under the House of Der�on with Beyonc�. Last year, Der�on offered a Class of '08 hoodie with the parent company's fleur-de-lis logo, worn by Beyonc� in her No. 1 hit video "Irreplaceable," and a class ring in a fleur-de-lis pattern with 27 cubic zirconia, a square-cut custom birthstone, and custom engraving of initials, graduation year, and school name. The rings shattered sales records in their first month and a half on the market, Holmes said.

"What we tried to bring to the community is another option, more in synch with their style -- a keepsake, a piece of art that is a memorandum of where I am, where I've been and where I'm going. It is absolutely mainstream. The company has a strong belief in completing education and high school graduation. Russell Simmons' message to his young customers was similar: 'What your education gives you is a chance to live up to any dream.'"

Holmes went on to say, "Last year we launched our Graduating 'Class of' jewelry to some of America's High Schools, and this year we intend to sell our products worldwide. Graduating seniors all over the world are into Hip Hop. Our market is not limited to certain areas. Our jewelry line is not school specific. Our market is that open and that tremendous."

"With the release of several newly designed Banneker Watches, and new celebrity endorsements for our products, '09 should be a stellar year for us," says Holmes. To view the Banneker watches, visit the site at

About us:

Banneker, Inc. is a manufacturer and distributor of quality watches and fine jewelry based on the legend of Benjamin Banneker. Esteem Enterprises, a wholly owned subsidiary of Banneker, Inc, teamed with Jostens, Inc. and created the first ever urban line of graduation jewelry and class rings.

Safe Harbor Statement:

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters set forth above may be forward-looking statements that involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those in the forward-looking statements. Words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend" and similar expressions, as they relate to the Company or its management, identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs of management, as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to management. Actual results could differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors such as the level of business and consumer spending, the amount of sales of the Company's products, the competitive environment within the industry, the ability of the Company to continue to expand its operations, the level of costs incurred in connection with the Company's expansion efforts, economic conditions in the industry and the financial strength of the Company's customers and suppliers. The Company does not undertake any obligations to update such forward-looking statements. Investors are also directed to consider all other risks and uncertainties.

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