A. Lange & Söhne – German Watch
The “A. Lange & Söhne” story is the history of a watchmaking dynasty whose roots go back to the Saxon court under Augustus the Strong, it is from these illustrious surroundings that Adolph Lange set out to the secluded Ore Mountains in 1845 to establish the Saxon precision watchmaking industry in Glashütte. He and his successors established new standards in high-end horology, and it did not take long before timekeeping instruments crafted by “A. Lange & Söhne” ranked among the world’s most coveted treasures.
Alpina Swiss Made Sport Watches
We look back to 1883, the founding year of the association of manufacturers and retailers of watches that evolved into Alpina. Its members called themselves affectionately the “Alpinists”, and they all shared the same target: the success of the Alpina watch.
The first horological cooperation
Everything started in 1883 when Gottlieb Hauser, watchmaker in Winterthur, founded the Swiss Watchmakers Corporation (“Corporation d’Horlogers Suisse”). A number of watchmakers joined to purchase watch components and organized their manufacturing. Quickly, the new concept gained acceptance. Together with qualified manufactures, the Association started to develop its own calibres and to enlarge its distribution network. Ebauches (the base of a calibre) were produced by the Alpina Ebauche Factory in Geneva, owned by Duret & Colonnaz, which played also an important role in the construction of the first Alpina calibres. Final steps in the manufacture of the calibres were performed in Bienne, the place of the head quarters of the Association as of 1890. Success was swift and representations were set up in Germany as well as in East and Northern Europe. In 1901, the name “Alpina” was registered as a trademark at the same time; it would only appear on the dials of high-end watches. From the beginning, Alpina watches were manufactured with high quality components, amongst others Brequet spirals, balance wheels with gold screws and heavy gold cases.
Alpina Glashütte 1909-1922
In order also to participate in the German watch-manufacturing base, Alpina Union Horlogère founded the “Präcisions-Uhrenfabrik Alpina” in Glashütte in 1909. The Union’s factories were now located in Geneva, Bienne, Besançon and Glashütte. In 1912, the first Alpina Chronometer Glashütte was finalized: it was equipped with an Alpina manufactured chronometer ebauche with a Glashütte escapement instead of the typical Swiss anchor escapement. The dial of these watches red “Präcisions-Uhrenfabrik Alpina Glashütte i.S.”. Another model was created in 1913: it was a 21” marine watch, which was purchased by the German navy at the time. Alpina Glashütte watches gained ground and competed directly with those of Lange & Söhne. In 1913, Lange & Söhne felt threatened and started a court case to try to stop Alpina on the ground that not all parts were manufactured in Glashütte. The court case dragged on for years but was finally proven without merit. It was dropped in favor of Alpina in 1915. Meanwhile World War I had started and had a stifling effect on the “Präcisions-Uhrenfabrik Alpina” in Glashütte. Parts could hardly be send to the factory from Switzerland due to war import restrictions. Further, there were major capital flow restrictions.
The First World War
During the First World War, the Allied Forces were obviously not pleased with business relationships between Switzerland and Germany. The Alpina Glashütte factory had experienced already major problems but also the relationships between the Swiss Alpina factories and their customers in Germany were under strong pressure. Finally in 1917, towards the end of the first World War, the Association “Union Horlogère” was dissolved formally. Two separate anonymous societies were incorporated: the Union Horlogère SA in Bienne, Switzerland and the Alpina Deutsche Uhrmacher-Genossenschaft G.m.b.H. in Berlin, Germany. The branch, which was in charge of Swiss members, incorporated itself as yet a third separate association in the name of “Alpina Association des Horlogers Suisses”. Activities of the companies surged dramatically after the First World War. Alpina watches were being sold with great success in 2000 retailers around Europe, from Lisbon to Copenhagen to Moscow.
Anonimo Wrist Watches
Anonimo was founded in Florence, Italy in 1997 by respected designer and entrepreneur Federico Massacesi who had already gained many year’s experience in the field of Luxury Goods for Salvatore Ferragamo SpA. His vision was to create an enterprise specializing in the production of unique Italian timepieces focused on staying true to Florentine watch making tradition. He accepted the challenge therefore to be known worldwide as the most important Italian Company producing high quality mechanical timepieces. Events conspired to set the stage for the realisation of this aim. The takeover by an international group caused a famous Florentine watchmaking house to uproot and move abroad, thus leaving an elite and established team of veteran watchmakers wishing to continue their watchmaking tradition in Florence. Happily this wealth of Florentine watchmaking experience joined forces with Federico Massacesi to form the cornerstone on which Anonimo’s success was built.
Bozeman Watch Company
The Bozeman Watch Company is one of the few companies designing exclusive timepieces in the United States, where, today, such precision design and manufacture is essentially non-existent. When Christopher Wardle set out to design and manufacture the Montana Class Watch Collection, he knew their original American marvels necessitated the finest movements available coupled with meticulous manufacturing techniques to attain a watch collection of unique and rare proportion, and so the BWC set their sights on brining the standards of Old World watch making excellence together with the innovative spirit of America.
Over many months of meetings, vision became design as words were transformed into intricately worked sketches and the inaugural timepieces of the Montana Class Watch Collection – the SmokeJumper Chronograph, the Sidewinder and Schofield, and complimentary men’s and women’s Gallatin – began to take shape. Armed with a design portfolio and an overwhelming enthusiasm for the new venture, Mr. Wardle traveled to Germany and Switzerland, literally showing up on the doorsteps to interview prospective componantry suppliers.
Persistence paid dividends as relationships born of mutual respect began to develop and the many moving parts began to work in tandem. The sketches soon became prototypes and the first watch design a real, tangible product; the SmokeJumper Chronograph. Endorsed by the Montana-based National Smokejumpers Association, the very limited line launched the opening of the store in downtown Bozeman, Montana in December, 2005.
Carl F. Bucherer is an independent watch brand with over 80 years of experience in creating high-quality watches. The brand stands for uncompromising quality as well as highly beautiful and stylish products. It combines the best in watchmaking craftsmanship with fine jewelry-making skills, and the sophisticated watch complications surprise time and again.
CX SWISS MILITARY WATCH™’s history goes back to 1963 and thousands of chronographs, chronometers and high precision watches have left their premises since. The quality of their timepieces is legendary and won CX SWISS MILITARY WATCH™ worldwide acclaim.
The ruggedness and the legendary precision of the CX SWISS MILITARY WATCH™ timepieces have become the benchmark for many a producer of professional chronographs and chronometers. Uncompromising functionality, innovative design and state-of-the-art technology secured CX SWISS MILITARY WATCH™ a well-earned place in the hall of fame of military timepieces. Both professionals and collectors love the attention to detail displayed in the CX SWISS MILITARY WATCH™ timepieces and many a collector’s item saw its value spiralling over the years.
Swiss precision is not a mere legend, it is a fact and CX SWISS MILITARY WATCH™ is proud to be a part of it. All parts of their watches are both designed and assembled in Switzerland. The innovative R&D department makes CX SWISS MILITARY WATCH™ the market leader among precision watches intended for professional use.
CX SWISS MILITARY WATCH™ is well prepared for the new millennium: several new high-end models are being developed, some projects in close cooperation with the most renowned watch technology companies in Switzerland. CX SWISS MILITARY WATCH™ is ready for the challenge of combining perfect quality, newest technology and innovation!
EPOS – Artistry in Watchmaking
The origins of the EPOS Company date back to 1925. In that year, James Aubert formed his watch company in the Vallée de Joux, known as the centre of the mechanical watch world. James Aubert was an enthusiastic mechanical watch engineer, who dedicated his life to developing new watch mechanisms. James Aubert was a master of his art and spent most of his efforts focusing on technical developments of chrono-graphs and minute repeaters. He had first acquired his skills working as an engineer for the former watch movement manufacturers “Valjoux” and “Landeron“.
In the true watchmakers’ tradition, he handed down his knowledge to his nephew Jean Aubert and his son-in-law, Jean Fillon, who is still today the EPOS’ watch engineer in chief. In his workshop many of EPOS’ own developments for complicated watches were created in close cooperation with EPOS watchmakers. A few that could be named are the jumping hour, the power reserve indication, the big date, the regulator and the regulator with the phases of the moon.
In the early 80s, the success story of the traditional Swiss watch came to a standstill. The new quartz technology radically changed the face of the watch industry. Nobody wanted to produce mechanical watches any longer, with the notable exception of a few luxury brands. Peter Hofer, a long-established expert in Swiss watchmaking, was one of the few who still believed in the future of the mechanical watch. With this vision, he and his wife Erna decided to form their own company in 1983: Montres EPOS SA. Their main assets were a passion for mechanical watches and a technical know-how in this field.
Personal contacts with key people in watch workshops both in the Jura Mountains and the Vallée de Joux, as well as a vast knowledge of the global watch market, enabled Peter Hofer to quickly develop his own brand. From the very beginning, EPOS has been a mechanical brand with interesting innovations. For 20 years he remained faithful to his vision, developing stunning collections incorporating fascinating mechanisms, always in close cooperation with Jean Fillon.
In 2002 Peter Hofer looked for a successor who shared his passion for mechanical watches and was willing to take over and develop the EPOS business. Ursula Forster, who came from a watchmakers’ family, and her husband Tamdi, who also had great experience in the Swiss watchmaking industry, seemed to be the ideal solution.
Kiber springs from the combination of Swiss precision and Dutch trademanship. Top quality and a rebellious nature combined into beautiful watches. Unlike any other established brand. And not meant for pilots or F1 drivers only. Kiber is for all watch lovers.
Founding fathers of Kiber are two Dutch entrepreneurs. Rebellious business men and very passionate about watches. Lovers of quality. Affordable quality. That is what Kiber is all about: Swiss quality with Dutch guts.
Reactor with Never Dark Technology
In 2003 we set out on a mission to design a line of sport watches that would exceed the demands of the action sports athlete, while creating a style uniquely different from the norm. In short, we wanted to push well beyond what the watch industry had to offer and create a product that would truly set a new standard. Bold components, uncompromising quality and unconventional styling have combined to create REACTOR.
REACTOR watches are designed to meet, or exceed, demanding Swiss standards. Cases are forged from solid stainless steel. Multiple O-ring seals and water-tight screw-down crowns are used throughout. To ensure that REACTOR could survive the decidedly non-sedentary lifestyle of our target customer, we developed new standards. Swiss sapphire crystals gave way to the more impact-resistant hardened mineral glass. The delicate precision of a Swiss movement gave way to the robust accuracy of Japanese quartz. An entirely new case-to-band fastening system was devised, to keep these watches firmly in place during the worst unplanned events. REACTOR truly represents the best of what the world of watches has to offer.
As we begin this journey, we know that a brand cannot flourish in today’s marketplace without the loyalty of its customers. Our total dedication and commitment to service begins with the unprecedented level of support we will offer our select group of retail accounts, and radiates down by exceeding the expectations of our end consumers. In short, we will do whatever it takes to make all our customers “raving fans.”
Suunto was born in 1936 when Tuomas Vohlonen invented the liquid-filled compass. Essential to Finnish troops during World War II – who needed to know where they were in a flat country full of ice, snow and dense forests – it also set the direction Suunto would follow over the next 70 years – MEASUREMENT. With that core competence we are able to replace the need for luck, by giving people more personal control of their environment. Today Suunto is the largest manufacturer of compasses and precision instruments used all around the world for accurate measurement in areas such as forestry, mining, and surveying.
Urwerk – Baumgartner & Frei / Geneve
URWERK was born from a meeting in 1995 between two brothers, Felix and Thomas Baumgartner, both gifted watchmakers, and friend Martin Frei, a talented artist and designer. These young men were united by their common passion for measuring and portraying time. A long discussion, a sharing of philosophies and dreams, culminated in a decision to create their own vision of time.
Marin Frei sketched and honed the design of the timepiece while the Baumgartners spent the next two years developing the technical aspects of the movement and complication. Inspired by the 17 century Campanus Night clock, the team aimed to distil timekeeping to its very essence, to calm the perception of time by removing all extraneous indications and distractions.
While searching for a name to formalise their new collaboration, two principle references soon became apparent:
UR. The city of Ur was the very place where our perception of time was molded over 6000 years ago by the moving shadows cast by the obelisks of Ur. These giant sundials unveiled the mysteries of the earth’s movement through space.
The Sumerians, the people of Ur, declared that the passage of these shadows through the course of one year should be partitioned into12 units, thus laying the foundation for a system of timekeeping which has endured to this day.
WERK. In the German language, ‘werk’ means to work, create, evolve,shape, forge and to arouse emotions.
URWERK SA was launched in 1997 with one overriding aim: to follow nobody but to create their own path in pushing the boundaries of haute horlogerie ever further.
1997 URWERK SA created. Launch of the 101 (gold) and 102 (steel) at Basel with the AHCI.
2003 The new 103 model with its orbiting satellites was presented at Basel and caught the attention of Harry Winston Rare Timepieces.
2004 URWERK begins work on the revolutionary Opus V in partnership with Harry Winston. Thomas Baumgartner leaves URWERK to concentrate on his own projects.
2005 Launch 103.03 and the Opus V at BaselWorld 2005.