Based in Le Locle, Riba Watch is a Multi brand Swiss watch group that produces timepieces under brand names Murex, Mercury, Geovani, Optima, Faros and Vogue. Riba Watch company was founded in mid 1990s by Wasfi Taher.
In 1990, Wasfi Taher had a degree in business administration from Beirut Arab University, under his belt a small shop selling watches in the city. Forced to leave everything behind and flee the civil war in Lebanon, he headed for Switzerland, attracted by its long watchmaking tradition. Determined to succeed, he quickly established relationship with several Swiss watch factories, setting himself up as a retailer. By the mid-1990 he launched his own company, Riba Watch, which head office is actually based in Le Locle, the hearth of watchmaking industry.
- 1995: Murex, First brand to come out from the project of the talented pioneer, arriving from Lebanon.
- 1998: Mercury, with the desire to create new things, this sport collection was projected a leading-edge of Swiss technology able to overcome trends.
- 2000: Geovani, from the increasing demand of Middle East Countries was created these jewelry timepieces collections.
- 2003 : Optima, an old Swiss watch brand founded with a renewed soul, since it was acquired by the group.
- 2004: Faros, the first attempt to propose smart luxury timepieces.
- 2007: Vogue, fashion brand added to capture customer’s fantasy with bold colours and new materials.
Each brand has been created to maintain its separate identity and will continue to ensure quality of the products. Each of them continues to expand and strengthen its position in the market.
MUREX, the first brand of the group, proposes a wide range of fashionable and luxury quartz watches, with around 20 new models being introduced each year. OPTIMA, historic Swiss brand acquired by the group in 2003, offers Both gents and ladies collections conserve the elegance with gentle features while introducing a new design.
GEOVANI offers luxury and jewellery watches. Every model has a quartz movement assembled by hand and features diamonds decorating the cases, bezels, dials or straps. MERCURY manufactures watches for the sports minded man or woman. These watches are designed to be fit for purpose, no matter what the conditions. The timepieces bearing VOGUE brand names feature Impeccable design that bear the hallmark of the group, quality and creativity. Fresh colours and materials to characterize models .FAROS a unique blend of funny and contemporary style.
Atelier & workshop
Head offices show-room and watch production is established in the same building, facilitating communication and interaction between the different domains of expertise and skills. Mr. Taher is involved in every stage of the production.
RIBA WATCH SUISSE SARL
Rue Bournot, 17
CH 2400 – Le Locle
Murex was the first brand to come out of the Riba Watch stable (there are now five different brands, each tailored to different markets) and is the embodiment of Swiss quality. Wasfi Taher, CEO of RIBA WATCH, himself remains involved in everything – and every model – from the designs and technical drawings through to samples and production.
Murex specializes in a wide range of fashionable quartz watches, with around 20 new models being introduced each year. Every model is engineered, manufactured and assembled at the Riba Watch factory in Le Locle. In some cases, the craftsmanship and precision involved mean that production can take several months.
The brand has two collections: a fashion collection and a diamond range. The watches, made of stainless steel, may feature different plating, such as rhodium, rose gold, black or white ceramic – as well as mother-of-pearl, diamonds, sapphires and other valuable gems. One of the most popular pieces launched recently was the Diamond Hypnosis, which features diamonds and black sapphires set in the dial and case. A specialised mechanical action means that any movement of the interior dials causes rotation of the diamonds set in the watch face – and a resultant hypnotic effect that is very much in keeping with the spirit of the Murex Diamond collection .
Murex is a brand close to Wasfi Taher’s heart. Of course, all the brands in his Riba Watch stable are close to his heart but Murex was his first, and one he created himself. It is also the Riba Watch brand that most closely follows fashion trends.
Where its sister brand Optima aims for a sense of classical elegance, Murex is of the moment, creating casual sport watches for men and smart, fashionable pieces for women. Inspiration comes from the latest trends – vintage style is still popular and recent collections have reflected this with smart, classic cases.
At Baselworld 2014, Murex showcased 20 new models, including two of Taher’s favourites: the ISC 965 chronograph for men and Snow White for women. The ISC 965 includes a contrast of matte and shiny metal, a two-layer dial and distinctive shaped locks and bezel.
The Snow White is a special release, with a white ceramic band and face, punctuated with bright gems forming the index. Murex’s Diamond collection has seen the addition of the most luxurious watch the company has ever made as The Shine incorporates more than a thousand pieces of diamond.
Already well-established in the Middle East, the brand is planning make a big push into Russia, Brazil and the Far East. Meanwhile, Murex has reached the stage where it has outgrown its manufacturing base in Le Locle and is set to move to bigger premises.
Created in 2005, The GEOVANI collection of watches is all about luxury and exclusivity. While great emphasis is placed on the design, this is supported by the quality and workmanship that is associated with Swiss watches. The brand was created in perspective to become a recognized brand from the manufactures of luxurious watches. The watch collection was first displayed in several diamond pieces, mainly for women. Now it has diversified by adding gentlemen pieces, set by diamond or not, stand by the elegance and sophistication of Swiss industry.
All of the timepieces and their quartz movements are assembled by hand in the company’s Le Locle workshop, in the heart of Swiss watchmaking country. High-quality jewels are used inside and out the dial, and all watches offer water resistance up to 10ATM.
Designs themselves are created in-house to ensure that GEOVANI’s style remains unique. Every model features diamonds decorating the cases, bezels, dials or straps, in some cases all of these, while engraving and brushing of the cases, bezels and lugs is carried out by hand.
Dials are often multi-layered affairs, featuring silvered, enamelled or mother-of-pearl finishes along with the jewels. Straps, if not made of stainless steel or soft leather, come from rarer sources such as alligator, python or ostrich.
GEOVANI’s imaginative design and technical expertise is neatly demonstrated by its GAROUPA collection, which features a spiral in the dial set by diamonds on the index white diamonds.
Popular, too, is the Flower collection, in which a rose gold-plated, diamond-studded centre is surrounded by rhodium and rose gold-plated petals that, in turn, are surrounded by a case set with diamonds. Moreover these collections feature different colour combinations and a choice of strap.
Until recently, while some brands happily cater to a variety of styles and tastes, Mercury remained single minded: it manufactures watches for the sports-minded man or woman. Whereas it still manufacturing top sportive watches the brand has also from 2013 moved on elegant watch market and on diamond set watch market.
Derived of a combination of leading-edge Swiss technology and precision engineering with dedicated functionality, Mercury watches are designed to be fit for purpose, no matter what the conditions. In fact, every watch is the result of more than six months’ engineering and takes at least three months to manufacture – partly because the watch cases and the attachments between bezels and straps are crafted to ensure durability and strength. As you’d expect, all cases are made of stainless steel and feature chronographs.
While every Mercury watch looks reassuringly strong and durable, that’s no barrier to a wide range of styles. Many come with a choice of straps – metal, leather or rubber – and all with a choice of a silver, gold, rose-gold or black finish.
Some models remain undeniably sporty; the detailed design of others belies their functionality – as is neatly illustrated by two of the brand’s showcase models, the ME-10225 and the ME-10220. While the ME-10225 is a classic sports chronograph design – albeit a stylish one featuring a contrasting matt and polished stainless-steel strap – the ME-10220 is a highly styled timepiece sporting a rubber strap, a taupe dial with contrasting silver bezel and subdials, and an elegantly distorted crescent displaying the date.
The brand was originally founded in Biel in 1923 by Albert Grossenbacher, to manufacture Swiss watches with automatic movements. All parts and watches were made in-house and the company built up a good reputation and became one of the 27 manufacturers that joined Ebauches SA, the Swiss watch group established in 1926. Like many other brands the world over, though, Optima was thrown into disarray by the Great Depression and output continued at only a very low level until it was bought by Manufacturing GmbH in the 1980s.
Taher bought the Optima successfully nurtured it for 10 years before its first appearance at Baselworld 2013. This was a significant step, as the brand had been virtually forgotten before Taher took over. An emphasis on elegance and the most strictly enforced high-quality manufacture at the brand’s Le Locle workshop has brought it, brilliantly, into the light. Optima has been truly reinvigorated since 2003, Taher – who had already established watchmaking company Riba Watch and launched Murex – was ready to expand his business and found himself drawn by Optima’s heritage and tradition. His chosen strategy was to conserve the elegance of the brand while bringing it up to date with new and original designs. Today, Optima, like sister brand Murex, has two collections for men and women – one fashion-led and the other offering diamond pieces.
The beauty of Optima watches lies in their detail. A glance at any one of the brand’s pieces reveals that its construction has been carefully thought about, whether that be a combination of different materials – a stainless steel case and a gold-plated bezel, or a contrast in matt and shiny textures – or perhaps its patterns or a variation on the index.
From metals and mother-of-pearl through to precious stones, Optima combines different materials in layers to create an understated relief effect on the watch dial. This approach, incorporating several different components to create an effect, makes the watches stand out. Another thing that unites Optima watches is elegance.
For a watch to attain the level of elegance the brand demands it must first be of a size that will enhance the wrist – for men, this means watch cases range from 42mm to 45mm and for ladies, from 34mm to 40mm. The OSC299M best represents Optima’s ethos, with its two-layer dial, a touch of mother of pearl, roman index and perfectly married crown and bezel.
The diamond watch OSL 296, with its almost Black mother of pearl dial, is one of the brand’s most prestigious pieces, and perhaps best embodies the spirit of Optima. Endowing diamond-set case appears to have been softly set with purple amethyst stones around the dark but coloured dial. A distinctive design, this perfectly captures the refined grace for which the brand strives. The men’s designs, too, manage to look elegant while retaining a distinctly masculine feel.
Every year, 50 per cent of the collection is updated, launching around 20 new models. It is part of the brand’s philosophy to offer a wide range of designs and price points to customers, so that collections are accessible to as many people as possible. Riba Watch is now looking for new markets and making presence at major shows in France, Russia, Brazil and the Far East.
FAROS Watch brand offers contemporary, colourful and fashionable timepieces for both men and women. FAROS watches are incredible styled and fashioned yet accessible.
Other products – Pens & Cufflinks
MUREX PENS the writing instruments reflect the brand signature features. They pay a tribute to the refined details of the brand design. MUREX CUFFLINKS reveal a modern style to wear for all the occasions. OPTIMA PENS were created to meet the taste for those who love precious objects, with traditional lines. MERCURY PENS few reassuring strong models put beside the watch complete the collection. They resemble the active spirit choose for the brand. MUREX CUFFLINKS reveal a modern style to wear for all the occasions. OPTIMA CUFFLINKS feature a unique design which ensures that the cufflinks are easy to fit through the cuff’s bottom-hole.