HEBE

Founded in 1901 in Alle, a small Swiss village of the Arc Jurassien, HEBE Watch is the result from the association of villagers who, throughout time, have acquired various skills in the different fields of horology.

The unification of those experts took its roots in the artisanal watchmaking tradition of the region. During winter seasons, crops were impossible and the farmers spent their time elaborating timepieces. From there it resulted in a unique labour ultra specialized with a local know-how and varied, yet complimentary skills.

The first timepieces crafted by the experts were skeleton pocket watches. With a technique of open work well ahead of its time, they cut away as much as possible from the bridges and dials in order to present the inner workings of their watches and fine finishing of each component. This resulted in timepieces crafted with an audacious mix of sturdiness and aestheticism.

In the 1950s, the experts developed diamond wristwatches reflective of the times in the United States, during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Gaining strength and popularity, alongside an image built strategically on an influential market; HEBE Watch exported their timepieces to other countries and enjoys a strong reputation through their quality work.

In 1964, HEBE Watch was one the first Swiss watchmakers to enter the vast Chinese market. The experts established a name in this new market by producing gold plated timepieces remarkably unique, placing themselves as pioneers in luxury mechanical watchmaking in Asia.

But the 1970s marked a historic turning point for HEBE Watch and the Swiss watchmaking industry. The arrival of quartz movements disposed the experts of their exceptional skills, making the watchmaking craftsmanship obsolete and out-dated. The economic turmoil reduced the brand’s production capacity. From tens of thousands timepieces, the experts elaborated only a few thousand in order to guarantee the exclusivity of their work. Although they adapted their ladies’ line to quartz movements, they bet on a return of mechanical watches in the long run.

While most neighboring watchmakers have turned into other sectors, the experts survived through their capacity to position HEBE Watch in a network of niche and exclusive markets with timepieces entirely dedicated to the aesthetic and sustainable mechanic.

In the 1990s, the Swiss watch industry rose from the ashes. Aware of the potential represented by mechanical movements, the experts further developed their high-level skills of skeletonizing in order to blend aesthetic innovation to a pure functionality, a feature of the Haute Horlogerie. They placed a painstaking open work on the plate with innovative geometric shapes leaving only the vital organs of the watch reflected.

Taken over in 2011, the new investors replaced the brand on the front scene while retaining its specialized experts. In 2012, HEBE Watch launched a new skeleton watch collection ‘Arrows of Time’, pushing the boundaries with the use of unusual shapes and contemporary colour schemes.

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