As nautical world inspired brand, Spinnaker creates exceptional timepieces that pay tribute to yachting and diving. Affordable yet reliable, Spinnaker watches are suitable for various water-sports activities, ranging from sailing to professional diving. The brand makes use of Japanese movements sourced from reputed manufactures like Miyota and TMI/Seiko.
Boettger is a diving watch with 300m water resistance rating. This 43mm diameter stainless steel wristwatch houses the Miyota 9015 automatic movement featuring three hands and date.
This stylish diver’s timekeeping instrument comes with a stainless steel bracelet with fold over buckle and an additional Nitrile Butadiene Rubber strap. The Spinnaker Boettger watch is available in Blizzard White, Coral Orange, Lemon Yellow and Azure versions.
Powered by the NH35 TMI Automatic calibre, Bradner is a diving watch with a water resistance of 180 meters. Its neo-vintage style evokes the legendary super compressor divers. Introduced by Swiss watch case manufacture Ervin Piquerez SA in the 1960s, this design features the instantly recognizable two-crown system and unidirectional inner-bezel operated by an additional crown.
The stainless steel case of this super compressor dive model measures 42mm diameter. The Spinnaker Bradner watch is available in Pacific Blue, Tidal Blue, Atlantic Blue, Petrol Black, Emerald Green, Ink Black, Olive and Military Green Versions.
With a water resistance up to 300m, Cahill features a 43mm diameter stainless steel case, screw-down crown, sapphire crystal glass, unidirectional diving bezel and the NH35 TMI Automatic movement.
Fitted with a leather strap or stainless steel bracelet, the Spinnaker Cahill diving watch is available in Black Gold, Stone Green, Oxford Blue, Classic Black, Malbec, Forest Green, Cobalt and Carbon versions. In 2022, the brand also launched a limited series Cahill 300 Automatic Help for Heroes watch collection.
Croft is a recreational diving watch with a depth rating of 150 meters. This 43mm watch features stainless steel case, sapphire glass, unidirectional bezel with aluminium insert, 22mm steel bracelet, and 8218 Miyota Automatic movement with date at 3 o’clock and small seconds at 4 o’clock.
The brand is also offering a midsize version featuring 40mm case and NH35 TMI Automatic movement. The midsize series also includes open-worked models with Seiko TMI NH70 skeletonized self-winding calibre. The Spinnaker Croft collection offers various case finishings, dial colors and straps (metal or leather).
Dumas is an automatic diving timepiece inspired by the designs of the 1970s. Water proof up to 300 meters, this stainless steel diver from Spinnaker Watches family features a bold and sturdy case with octagonal shape. It comes with a hexagonal shaped link bracelet or regular three-link bracelet.
Displaying the hour, minute, seconds and date, this 44mm watch model houses the NH35 TMI automatic movement. The unidirectional bezel is topped with glass bezel-insert.
The Spinnaker Dumas watch is available in Blue Yonder, Bordeaux, Chalk Grey, Classic Black, Harbor Blue, Hornet Yellow, Regatta White, Sahara, Sandblast, Soda Blue and Tangerine versions.
Named after the pioneering diving engineer and master diver Henry Fleuss, this Spinnaker watches collection offers vintage-style diver’s watches with 150m depth rating. It comes with a 43mm diameter stainless steel case with sapphire crystal glass and a unidirectional rotating bezel with insert made of hardened glass.
The movement is NH35 TMI Automatic, which drives the hour, minute, seconds, and the date at 3 o’clock. The Spinnaker Fleuss watch is available in Oxblood Red, Lumber Black, Lagoon Green, Prussian Blue, Silver White, Sand Grey, Midnight Black, Royal Blue, White Pearl, Marine Pearl, Midnight Pearl, Sunset Orange and Monsoon Brown versions.
The Spinnaker Hull collection is comprised of chronographs, three-hand models and diving watches.
The Hull Chronograph is a vintage-styled timepiece with an elegant cushion case in stainless steel. Measuring 42mm diameter, this model features a fixed steel bezel with tachymeter scale and hardened mineral crystal glass.
The Spinnaker Hull Chronograph houses VK73 TMI Meca-Quartz chronograph movement. Water-proof up to 100m, this timepiece is available with metal bracelet or leather strap.
The Hull diving watch features a 42mm diameter case with a waterproofness of 300 meters. It utilizes the NH35 TMI Automatic movement, driving the hour, minutes, seconds and the date functions. The unidirectional bezel is topped with ceramic bezel ring.
The Spinnaker Hull diver is available in Alligator Green, Arctic Blue, Cognac Brown, Deep Grey, Harvest Brown, Liberty Blue, Officer Blue, Ombre Red, Patriot Blue, Tuxedo Black, Stealth and Damascus steel versions.
The other notable models in the Spinnaker Hull Collection are the Hull California Automatic, Hull California Meca-Quartz Chronograph and Hull Riviera Automatic.
Water resistant to 550 meters, this professional diving watch takes inspiration from the legendary deep-sea submersible vehicle created by Jacques Piccard. This extreme timepiece comes with a robust and massive stainless steel case measuring 45mm diameter and 21mm thickness.
The movement beating inside is NH35 TMI Automatic. The 22mm stainless steel bracelet is provided with a fold over buckle. Fitted with an ultra-domed sapphire crystal glass and a helium release valve, the Spinnaker Piccard watch is available in three colorways: Hunter Green, Dark Cerulean and Volcano Black.
Spence is an automatic diving watch with 300 meter water-resistance. It features a 40mm diameter stainless steel case with the Miyota 9039 Automatic calibre ticking inside. It is one of the thinnest diving watches available in the market. A 20mm stainless steel bracelet with fold over buckle and push button secures this timepiece around the wrists.
The unidirectional bezel is topped with a colored aluminium bezel-insert. The Spinnaker Spence watch is available in Crimson Red, Hickory Brown, Indigo Blue, Pitch Black and Sea Green versions.
Wreck is a recreational diving timepiece rated for a water resistance of 200 meters. Powered by the TMI NH35 Automatic calibre, this model with a 44mm diameter stainless steel case boasts a vintage-themed distressed finishing on its dial and diving bezel.
The Spinnaker Wreck watch is available in four colorways: Barnacle Black, Distressed Black, Oxidized Blue and Rust Brown.
Spinnaker belongs to Dartmouth Brands Limited, a UK based business house specialized in the production of wristwatches. The other watch brands owned by the Dartmouth Company are AVI-8, BALLAST, CADOLA, CORTEBERT, DOMINATORE DEL MARE, DUFA, DUXOT, FJORD, JAMES MACCABE, NUBEO, RGMT and THOMAS EARNSHAW.
Co-founded by master watchmaker Franck Muller and Armenian-born business man and watch case specialist Vartan Sirmakes, Franck Muller Watchland is one of the most acclaimed independent watch companies in contemporary watchmaking.
Established in 1991, the House of Franck Muller is known for its highly exclusive technical complications, which are proprietary innovations, produced in-house within its Manufacture in Genthod, Geneva.
It was at the end of the 80s, Franck Muller and Vartan Sirmakes met. They shared a passion for watchmaking each of them with vast complementary experience in the field.
At the time, Franck Muller was making his own models under the “Franck Geneva” brand. The notable horological masterpieces created by him during the 1980s were a Tourbillon with jumping hours, a Tourbillon with Minute Repeater and an inverted Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar with Minute Repeater.
As for Vartan Sirmakes, he made cases for several fine watchmaking brands in a workshop he had set up in a district of Geneva alongside Lake Geneva. In 1991, Franck called on Vartan to design his new case bodies. This partnership has eventually paved the way for creating of one of the most reputable watchmaking companies in the world.
In 1992, the brand introduced the iconic Cintrée Curvex (tonneau curved) case design. In 1998, Franck Muller launched its own exhibition named World Presentation of Haute Horlogerie (WPHH) to showcase its products. In 2003, the iconic Crazy Hours watch was launched. In 2004, the brand introduced the world’s first tri-axial tourbillon.
In 2006, Franck Muller took over two Swiss watch component companies: Les Fils d’Arnold Linder SA (maker of top quality dials), and Pignons Juracie SA (producer of gear wheels and pinions). In the same year, the group also acquired the assets, including a retail outlet, of the Genevan luxury watch manufacturer Mahara Montres (MHR).
In 2007, Franck Muller unveiled the Aeternitas Mega, the world’s most complicated mechanical wristwatch at the time of its launch. As on May 2007, the group included seven luxury watch brands: Franck Muller Genève, Pierre Kunz, ECW, Rodolphe, Barthelay, Backes & Strauss and Martin Braun.
In 2008, the manufacture launched Pierre Michel Golay watch brand. In 2010, the company introduced Smalto Timepieces in collaboration with Italian fashion designer Francesco Smalto.
Introduced in 2011, the Franck Muller Giga Tourbillon stands out with the biggest tourbillon ever incorporated in a wristwatch. For the Only Watch Charity Auction 2011, Franck Muller donated “Totally Switzerland”, a unique timepiece based on its playful Crazy Hours complication. The Franck Muller watch Totally Switzerland was sold for €44, 000.
In 2012, Italian high fashion house Roberto Cavalli signed a contract with the group to develop, create and distribute Swiss Made “Roberto Cavalli by Franck Muller” watches. The first Roberto Cavalli by Franck Muller watch collection was launched at the Monaco WPHH 2012.
In 2013, Franck Muller introduced Calibre 1700, the movement entirely made in-house. Composed of 213 components and equipped with 2 barrels, this mechanical manual-winding calibre features a 7 day power reserve.
Today, in addition to its Genthod site, the company has production facilities in Lajoux, Les Bois, Plan-les-Ouates and Meyrin.
Japanese premium jeweller TASAKI has been renowned worldwide for its luxurious and fashionable jewellery creations made of diamonds, pearls and other precious metals. The house also offers luxury watches from its TASAKI TIMEPIECES collection.
TASAKI’s first luxury timepieces collection was launched in august 2015 in Tokyo. The inaugural line-up was comprised of eleven timepieces from three families: the ‘Odessa’ for both men and women and featuring an original stepped bezel; the modern, innovative ‘refined rebellion’ series, where TASAKI has applied its representative jewellery series designs to luxury timepieces; and the ‘serpentine’ series with its organic, sensual form shaped by snake-like curves that sinuously entwine the timepiece’s body.
A stand-out model in the ‘Odessa series is the ‘Odessa Tourbillon’. In August 2016, the house released 10 new TASAKI wristwatches – including six “Odessa Chronograph” models and the “Odessa Skeleton”, the first model in the collection with a skeleton design. New jewellery watches were also added to TASAKI’s “refined rebellion” series.
In 2018, TASAKI launched the “balance” luxury watch models. TASAKI “balance” is an iconic jewellery series whose fantastic popularity stems from minimalist, modern designs featuring pearls aligned upon straight bars of metal. Their inspiration is taken from balance balls.
The first batch of “balance” timepieces series featured 17 models: nine for men and eight for ladies. The sharp, clean bars appear on the timepieces’ lugs, while the finely balanced form creates harmony with the rounded casing. The timepieces, equipped with automatic movements, were developed in a partnership with Swiss manufacturer Vaucher.
In 2021, TASAKI introduced a new watch series in collaboration with Fiona Krüger, a Scottish-born designer based in Switzerland. She is the founder of Fiona Krüger Timepieces, the Swiss brand specialised in the production of skull watches. The “FIONA KRÜGER: TASAKI” collection is comprised of two models: Petit Skull and Chaos.
About TASAKI JEWELLERS
Founded by Shunsaku Tasaki in 1954, Tasaki is a prestigious Japanese Jewellery House.
Tasaki’s jewellery creations are inspired by Japan’s lush environment, seascape and the land’s spectacular culture. Their innovative experiments with pearls, diamonds, and sakura-gold, have transformed traditional ideals of beauty and fashion. Tasaki is being adored by customers all over the world who value quality and sustainability. The brand has revolutionised the whole approach to wearing pearls by creating new ways of using them in jewellery.
The brand has a design and manufacturing base in Kobe and a huge flagship shop in Ginza, Tokyo’s luxury neighbourhood. Tasaki is one of the world’s top producers of Akoya pearls. Also known as Japanese pearls, Akoya pearls are valued all around the world for their wonderful sheen. The company also cultivates South Sea Pearls, Tahitian pearls and Mabe pearls.
Tasaki’s pink Sakura Gold has a deeper red hue than regular pink gold. This outstanding gold’s colour stands out whether worn alone or in combination with other materials.
The notable jewellery collections from the House are balance (designed by Thakoon Panichgul), refined rebellion, danger, abstract star, Comet Plus, and Tasaki Atelier (designed by Prabal Gurung).
M/G Tasaki is a jewellery collection produced in exclusive collaboration with the renowned jewellery designer Melanie Georgacopoulos. TASAKI by MHT is collection born from a partnership between French jewellery designer Marie-Hélène de Taillac and TASAKI.
Tasaki’s jewellery collections can be experienced and purchased in their exclusive stores in Japan, Australia, Canada, China, France, China’s Hong Kong SAR, Korea, Monaco, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom and the United States.
Tasaki is also available in the United States at Barneys, New York and Dover Street Market in New York City, Ikram in Chicago, The Webster in Miami, and Capitol in North Carolina.
Chopard is a Switzerland based watchmaking & Jewellery brand founded by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in 1860.
The company has been owned by the Scheufele family of Germany since 1963. In 2020 Chopard celebrated its its 160’th anniversary and the firm is still pervaded by the spirit instilled in it by its founder and nurtured by a blend of fine hand craftsmanship and daring technical developments.
From the founding family to that of Karl Scheufele which took it over in 1963, Chopard continues to be governed by its enduring principles, including a taste for excellence, the pursuit of quality, creativity, innovation, independence, and fundamental human respect.
After modest beginnings, Chopard established itself in the 19th century as a benchmark in the field of precision watches. However, it subsequently experienced a decline that lasted until 1963 when it was bought up by Karl Scheufele.
Along with his wife Karin and his two children, Karl-Friedrich and Caroline, he has shaped the firm’s meteoric and constant growth: from the first Happy Diamonds model to the latest Haute Joaillerie watches stemming from the fertile imagination of Caroline; and right through to the ultra-sophisticated L.U.C watches resulting from the unswerving determination of Karl-Friedrich, the whole world knows and wears Chopard.
Over the past few decades, Chopard has explored global horizons while remaining true to its two core fields of competence: watchmaking and jewellery.
The three Chopard production sites in Meyrin, Pforzheim and Fleurier are dynamic and vibrant hubs where skills are handed down and expertise is cultivated. They provide a setting in which various personalities can express a shared vision and values.
Under the impetus of Karl Scheufele, Chopard’s design and distribution strategy was established in the 1970s and subsequently amplified by his children, Karl-Friedrich and Caroline. Karin and Karl Scheufele continue to chair the group, while Karl-Friedrich and Caroline have been appointed co-presidents.
Karl-Friedrich, a trained goldsmith and watchmaker, is responsible for the men’s watch division, Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier and its related developments, as well as handling the technological and commercial aspects of the company. Caroline, who is fascinated by precious stones and a trained gemmologist, is in charge of design, Haute Joaillerie, boutique organisation and management, along with fragrances and accessories.
History of Chopard
Chopard & Scheufele (1860-1919)
Their respective births in Sonvilier and Pforzheim determined the destiny of Louis-Ulysse Chopard and Karl Scheufele. Fate would one day lead them to cross paths, but for the time being the Chopard family settled in Sonvilier at the heart of the Swiss Jura, while the Scheufeles lived in Pforzheim in the Black Forest region of Germany.
The father of Louis-Ulysse Chopard, Félicien, was an experienced farmer and a man of tradition who encouraged his sons to learn the watchmaking trade. The younger of the two, born on May 4th 1836, showed a particular gift for watchmaking. The ambitious Louis-Ulysse quickly grasped the fact that it was the “comptoirs” or watch dealers that earned the greatest profit from the work of the farmers who assembled movement blanks during the winter season: each spring, the agents picked them up, cased them up and then marketed the finished watches. It was therefore better to work independently, and in 1860, at the age of just 24, he accordingly set up his own L.U.C watch manufactory in Sonvilier.
In order to stand out from its numerous competitors, Chopard specialised in making innovative precision watches featuring sophisticated decoration. The company canvassed customers in Eastern Europe, Russia and Scandinavia to show its finest creations, and the Tsar of Russia soon became a loyal client.
In 1913, Louis-Ulysse placed its first ad for the “Fabrique de montres L.U.C L.-U. Chopard, maison fondée en 1860”. His son Paul-Louis took over the firm shortly afterwards.
At the heart of the Black Forest in Germany, the jewellery industry flourished in the small town of Pforzheim. August 6th 1877 saw the birth of a boy christened Karl Gotthilf, son of Johannes and Sophie Scheufele, in Pforzheim. His parents instilled in him several fundamental values such as boldness, perseverance, an entrepreneurial spirit, as well as a love of fine craftsmanship and of nature. However, his life was turned upside down by the death of his parents and he was placed in an orphanage in Pforzheim, where he learned watchmaking.
Having started out as a sales representative, he launched out on his own in 1904. The contacts he established in the Far East and in Russia lent his company an international dimension. ESZEHA (spelling out the first three letters of his family name as pronounced in German), the manufacturing company run by Karl Scheufele I, made pendants, medals, bracelets, as well as brooches in gold, diamonds and pearls adorned with floral motifs inspired by Art Nouveau.
In 1911, rather than delivering cases and bracelets to Swiss firms, Karl Scheufele I began assembling watches and marketing articles in platinum and gold watches.
In 1912, he scored a great commercial success with a clip serving to attach a pocket-watch to the wrist or to wear it as a necklace. An innovative system at the centre of the bracelet served to house and secure the watch firmly between two ‘paws’. Women were quick to adopt this new way of wearing jewellery.
The Art Deco Craze (1919-1938)
Following the founder’s death on January 30th 1915 in Sonvilier, his son Paul-Louis and his grand-son Paul-André took over the family business. Chopard’s pocket chronometers were extremely popular with elegant men, and its gem-set ladies’ wristwatches were both practical and attractive. Chopard produced extremely accurate timepieces with a high degree of technical sophistication. In 1937, having realised that Sonvilier was virtually unknown on the world map, Chopard relocated to Geneva, a renowned international watchmaking centre.
After World War I had bled Europe dry, Karl Scheufele I anticipated the shift in demand by eliminating jewellery models from his product catalogue and replacing them with watches. He presented his collections in Germany, Austria, Eastern Europe and as far afield as China.
The Art Deco movement revolutionised the decorative arts during the 1920s. Chopard and the Scheufeles made full use of this new trend. The Art Deco influence is particularly visible in Eszeha “wallet watches”, meaning watches incorporated into dedicated cases. The latter, made from Chinese-lacquered or enamelled silver and gold adorned with precious stones and geometrical motifs, concealed tiny travel clocks that were genuine pieces of jewellery.
Karl Scheufele I was considering buying up a watch factory in Switzerland, but the Third Reich made such a move impossible. On August 5th 1941, while out on a walk in the Black Forest with his grandsons Johan and Rüthchen, he died after a heart attack on the eve of his 64th birthday. That same day, his son was wounded on the Russian front. Upon his return in 1942, Karl Scheufele II succeeded his father at the head of the company.
Modern times (1945-1963)
The 1950s saw the birth of highly sought-after Eszeha models featuring original shapes: dials that were hidden or set into small crowns, undulating lugs, bracelets embellished by tiny bows, or broader versions with articulated links.
Weakened by his exertions, Karl Scheufele II entrusted the factory and its 35 employees to the care of his 20 year-old son, Karl III, also a goldsmith and a watchmaker. He passed away in Heidelberg on April 8th 1966.Having inherited his grandfather’s creative bent, Karl Scheufele III began designing impeccably crafted dainty jewellery models and watches. He was keen to make his own movements, and realised the only solution would be to buy up a Swiss manufacturer.
An unexpected event hastened the onset of this new challenge. In 1962, Karl Scheufele III learned that the Geneva-based company with which he had been dealing for years also delivered movement blanks to one of his fiercest competitors. He immediately revoked the contract with this supplier and had an advert published in a number of newspapers, openly stating his intention to purchase a Swiss manufacturing company.
After a period of commercial prosperity, Chopard was clearly on the decline: Paul-André, representing the third generation and undoubtedly an extremely talented watchmaker, was no businessman. This 70 year-old owner was looking to sell the firm and agreed to meet Karl Scheufele III, with whom he shared the same determined attitude, the same practical good sense and innate creativity, as well as the same love of fine craftsmanship. In acquiring this manufacturing company, Karl Scheufele III entered the extremely exclusive club of great Swiss watchmakers.
Karin and Karl Scheufele (1963-1985)
Thanks to his salesmanship skills and his passion for travel, Karl Scheufele III revived Chopard and transformed it into a truly international watch and jewellery brand. The new creations proved both playful and original, as well as of impeccable quality, bringing with them a genuinely innovative touch.
The Chopard look was nurtured by the company roots in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements. In 1972, Karl Scheufele III reinterpreted Art Nouveau in a series of plant life-themed watches, starting with Belle Epoque and following on with other nature-inspired collections such as Cascade, Happy Diamonds in 1976, Moonlight and Paradiso.
The Chopard style signature was as multi-facetted as the men and women it won over: deliberately round watches reflected the sensual curves and vivid colours of the 1970s; while broad cuff-watches in onyx, malachite, coral and turquoise combined daring shapes and beautiful gemstones.
In 1972-74, women readily adopted the Jeans watch and its famous denim strap. Between 1970 and 1980, the jewellery industry equivalent of an “Oscar” was annually awarded by German professionals: the Golden Rose of Baden-Baden. Chopard won 15 trophies during this decade, including one for the Happy Diamonds jewellery watch in 1976.
In 1976, inspired by the Concorde, Karl Scheufele created the Concord watch in white gold set with onyx and diamonds. The model was distinguished by a Diamonds International Award – of which Karl Scheufele was to win three in all.
Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele (1985/90 – )
During the 1990s, Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele formed a new leadership tandem, just as their parents had done before them.
Each reinterpreted the family tradition in their own way: Caroline reinvented the ancestral Pforzheim jewellery-making tradition by launching splendid Haute Joaillerie collections, while Karl-Friedrich did the same for watchmaking in Sonvilier by founding a fine watchmaking “Manufacture” in Fleurier 1996. The two complementary partners already shared the same office as they wrote a new chapter in the epic Chopard adventure.
1836: May 4, birth of Louis-Ulysse Chopard in Sonvilier, in the Swiss Jura.
1859: Birth of Paul-Louis, son of Louis-Ulysse Chopard.
1860: 24 year-old Louis-Ulysse Chopard founds a high-precision watch manufacture specialising in pocket-watches and chronometers, in Sonvilier, Switzerland.
August 6, 1877: Birth of Karl Gotthilf Scheufele in Pforzheim, Germany.
1904: Founding of the “Karl Scheufele” brand specialising in jewellery watches distributed under the name Eszeha.
1912: Louis-Ulysse Chopard travels to Russia through Poland, Hungary and the Baltic States. Tsar Nicolas II becomes a client. Karl Scheufele I invents the clip-watch.
1913: First ever advertising campaign for Chopard, referred to as “Fabrique de montres L.U.C L.-U- Chopard, maison fondée en 1860”.
1921: Paul-Louis Chopard, who has taken over the family firm, opens a subsidiary company in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
1925: Karl Scheufele I sends his son Karl Scheufele II to New York for two years with 50 dollars in his pocket.
1937: Chopard relocates to Geneva.
1930-1940: Chopard has around 150 employees making pocket-watches and precision wristwatches.
1942: Karl Scheufele II succeeds his father.
1943: Paul-André Chopard, son of Paul-Louis, takes over the Chopard company.
1958: Karl Scheufele III revives Eszeha after a tough period for the company.
1963: Paul-André Chopard sells Chopard to Karl Scheufele III.
1968: Paul-André Chopard dies on October 14.
1972: Launch of the Belle Epoque collection. Chopard wins the Golden Rose of Baden-Baden for the Améthyste watch.
1973: Chopard wins the Golden Rose of Baden-Bdaen for the Pasodoble watch.
1974: The company moves from the centre of Geneva to the new Meyrin-Geneva site.
1975: Creation of a first subsidiary company, “Chopard France”.
1976: Creation of the first Happy Diamonds watch. Chopard wins the Golden Rose of Baden-Baden for the Happy Diamonds and Cascade watches. Chopard wins the Diamond International Awards for the Concorde watch. Creation of the American subsidiary company: “Chopard Watch Corporation “.
1980: Launch of the first sports watch: St. Moritz.
1983: Launch of the Monte Carlo collection. Opening of the first Chopard boutique in Hong Kong.
1985: Launch of the Alta Moda collection for Chopard’s 125th anniversary.
1985: Creation of the Happy Diamonds Clown, the start of jewellery-making at Chopard. Karl-Friedrich and Caroline Scheufele are appointed vice-presidents of the Chopard group.
1986: Launch of the Gstaad collection.
1988: Start of the partnership between Chopard and the Mille Miglia, the legendary classic car rally in Italy. Chopard creates the 1000 Miglia sports watch collection.
1989: Opening of Chopard’s first European boutique, in Vienna.
1990: Launch of the Casmir collection.
1993: Launch of the Happy Sport collection.
1994: Launch of the La Strada and Impériale collections.
1996: The company returns to its roots and founds a watch manufacturing company in Fleurier, in the Swiss Jura, dedicated to the production of mechanical L.U.C movements. Creation of watches on behalf of the Geneva-based affiliate of José Carreras International Leukaemia Foundation, the Fondation José Carreas pour la Lutte contre la Leucémie.
1997: The first L.U.C 1860 watch, equipped with a L.U.C 1.96 movement, is voted “Watch of the Year” by the Swiss Montres Passion/Uhrenwelt magazine. Creation of the world’s most expensive watch at the time, Chopardissimo.
1998: Chopard becomes official partner of the Cannes Film Festival and Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele redesigns the Palme d’Or, from now on crafted in the Chopard workshops. Launch of La Vie en Rose collection.
1999: Launch of the Pushkin and Ice Cube collections. Partnership with the Prince’s Foundation founded by the Prince of Wales.
2000: Presentation of the world-first L.U.C Quattro watch, equipped with a L.U.C 1.98 movement featuring four barrels (two sets of two stacked barrels, patented L.U.C Quattro® technology), endowing the watch with a 9-day power reserve.
2001: Launch of the L.U.C Tonneau model, equipped with the first tonneau-shaped self-winding movement (L.U.C 3.97), fitted with an off-centred micro-rotor. Creation of the Chopard Trophy at the Cannes Film Festival. Caroline and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele become co-presidents of Chopard.
2002: Presentation of a new jewellery concept with the launch of the Golden Diamonds collection. Chopard becomes official timekeeper of the prestigious Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, a classic car race held in Monte Carlo. Launch of the Elton John watch collection on behalf of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
2003: Presentation of the first L.U.C Tourbillon model, a major technological accomplishment in the field of fine watchmaking. Launch of the new Happy Spirit collection. Creation of a line of Jacky Ickx watches.
2004: Presentation in Baselworld of the L.U.C. Regulator watch, which wins the “Watch of the Year” prize awarded by the Swiss magazine Montres Passion/Uhrenwelt.
2005: Presentation of the L.U.C Lunar One watch, driven by mechanical self-winding L.U.C 96 QP movement, featuring perpetual calendar and orbital moon-phase functions. Launch of the Haute Joaillerie Copacabana collection.
2006: Presentation of the L.U.C Chrono One watch, the first chronograph in the L.U.C collection equipped with Calibre 10CF, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Chopard Manufacture. Inauguration of the L.U.CEUM in Fleurier.
2007 : Launch of the Two O Ten watch collection. Inauguration of the new flagship boutique in New York, featuring the new interior design concept, and presentation of the eponymous collection 709 Madison. Introduction of the first Haute Joaillerie Red Carpet collection dedicated to the Cannes Film Festival. Founding of the Japanese subsidiary company, “Chopard Japan Ltd”.
2008 : Launch of the new Elton John chronograph collection in Moscow. “Best Training Company Prize” in the “Applied Arts” category awarded by the State of Geneva and honouring Chopard’s long-term commitment to the field of training and education. Creation of the Fleurier Ebauches SA company.
2009: Baselworld presentation of the L.UC Tourbillon Tech Twist watch equipped with a silicon escapement. Presentation of a high-frequency (10 Hertz) escapement developed by Chopard Technologies. Inauguration of a new flagship boutique in Singapore reflecting the new interior design concept.
2010: Celebration of Chopard’s 150th anniversary. Chopard unveils four new L.U.C Calibers: : the All in One, the L.U.C Louis-Ulysse Tribute, the Engine One and the L.U.C 1937.
2013: Marks 20th anniversary of its iconic Happy Sport collection. Launch of the new Happy Sport watch for the first time with an automatic movement.
2014: Launch of the first Chopard watch in Fairmined gold: the L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined.
2015: Launch of Chopard Palme Verte, the first diffusion jewellery collection crafted in Fairmined gold.
Chopard & Classic Racing
Devotees of fine automobiles tend to have a weakness for beautiful timepieces, and vice versa. In both cases, sporting elegance and the quest for performance play a decisive role.
Lifting the hood of a car provides an understanding of what is going on inside the engine, and the same goes for horological mechanisms that may be admired through a watch case-back. Today, true aficionados can be recognised by their choice of watch: a technical enthusiast will go for a complicate mechanical watch, while car-lovers will opt for a 1000 Miglia, a Jacky Ickx or a Grand Prix de Monaco Historique model.
Karl-Friedrich shares his father’s hobby. Together, they have built up a collection of remarkable cars, with the son showing a preference for pre-war and post-war English and German Cars (Bentley, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche… and Mini Cooper); and the father for elegant post-war sports models.
It was thus obvious that Chopard would become involved in the world of classic car racing. In addition to the Mille Miglia and the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, the brand’s commitment to Classic Racing goes back to the 1980s – and in fact even earlier, since Karl Scheufele’s grandfather was already fascinated by these finely tuned mechanisms. Historical highlights include Chopard’s participation in the Rallye des Alpes in 1993; and an unexpected race around Moscow’s Red Square in 1994.
Rebirth of the “Manufacture”
Watch companies that develop and produce their own components and watches entirely in-house are a rarity. Convinced that the company should make its own watch movements in order to honour its horological past, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele persuaded his father – and the family council – that the future lay in mechanical watches. Karl Scheufele allowed his son to proceed with preparations, and the project was secretly launched in 1993.
In order to create an original calibre, Karl-Schuefele chose the most complex path: the movement was to be equipped with a micro-rotor to ensure maximum flexibility; automatic winding in both directions to enhance reliability; a substantial power reserve; and the possibility of integrating complications. It was also to feature original execution and aesthetics. The fledgling “Manufacture” was set up in the Val-de-Travers to ensure discretion, and work on Calibre ASP 94 began in 1993.
However, having proved to be far too noisy and unsuited to the desired production strategy, it was subsequently abandoned. The final version of the new movement was presented at Christmas 2005 in the form of 20 prototypes of Calibre 1.96.
Operational testing on the new movement was conducted in Fleurier, where modest rented premises accommodated the ultra-modern production unit in 1996. As activities began to expand, the building was bought up and completely restored in 2000. From the initial dozen or so employees, the workforce in Fleurier has grown to 145 people.
Over 45 million Swiss francs have been invested. In 2006, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Chopard Manufacture, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, an avid timepiece collector, inaugurated the L.U.CEUM, where historical watches and clocks dating from 1500 to the present day rub shoulders with models from the Chopard L.U.C collection.
In keeping with its determination to achieve vertical integration, Chopard has created Fleurier Ebauches, an entity owned by the Chopard group and producing watch movements blanks in order to enhance verticalisation and increase its movement and component production.
Hamilton is a Swiss watch brand. It was originally founded in the United States.
Founded in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1892, Hamilton creates watches with a unique balance of authenticity and innovation. Hamilton’s timepieces synchronized the first railroads and kept time for aviation pioneers and U.S. soldiers. A favorite of filmmakers for decades, Hamilton watches have appeared in more than 500 movies, with custom pieces playing a pivotal role in several Hollywood blockbusters.
With a continued commitment to craftsmanship and accuracy, Hamilton launched the world’s first electric watch in 1957 and the first LED digital watch in 1970.
Since 1974, Hamilton has been a part of the Swatch Group, the global leader in watch manufacturing and distribution. In 2003, the brand moved its HQ and production to the center of watchmaking country in Biel, Switzerland.
Hamilton’s modern timepieces combine the American spirit with true Swiss precision.
The story begins at the time Christian VI was King of Denmark and Norway, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, a child named Jürgen Jürgensen was born, and he was to have great significance for watchmaking history. He was both the father of the most famous Danish watchmaker Urban Jürgensen and at the same time the founding father of the horological dynasty which was to revolutionize the outdated structures of the clock and watchmaking craft in Denmark and Switzerland. Through their use of new theoretical findings and practical working methods, they subsequently achieved the highest recognition both in Denmark and Switzerland.
Among the world’s greatest watchmakers of the 18th and 19th centuries, members of the Jürgensen family, notably Urban and Jules, worked alongside other horological geniuses such as Houriet, Breguet, Berthoud and Arnold. They have greatly contributed to the development of horology.
The watchmaking family’s roots stretch back to eighteenth century Denmark and Jörgen Jurgensen (1745-1811), founder of the dynasty. The most eminent watchmakers amongst his descendants are undisputedly his sons Urban (1776-1830) and Jules-Frederik Jûrgensen (1808-1877).
The latter two continued their father’s business by founding Urban Jürgensen & Sonner in Switzerland. Jules moved to Le Locle, Switzerland while his brother Louis was in charge of the factory in Copenhagen. After Louis Urban’s and Jules-Frederik’s deaths, the company went through several more changes of ownership but continued the tradition of chronometric timepieces.
Historical Chronometer Movement
Urban Jürgensen was one of the world’s most prominent watchmakers in the 18th century and contributed significantly to horological developments in fine mechanical watchmaking. As a result of his efforts, he was awarded an appointment as Royal Purveyor to King Frederik VI of Denmark and conferred the honour of the Royal Order of the Dannebrog, regularly supplying timepieces to the court and ship’s chronometers to the Danish Admiralty.
A brilliant and multifaceted talent, Urban Jürgensen achieved great international acclaim for his innovations in technology and science, gaining equal status with his scientific contemporaries. The results of his research were published in 1804 in a series of articles in Danish, French and German, earning him a place in the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. He was a brilliant engineer, a visionary far ahead of his time in many respects regarding creativity and aesthetics. As a horologist, inventor and aesthete, he must be considered one of the great talents in Denmark’s history.
Following the wish of his father Jürgen, Urban Jürgensen, spent a major part of his training as a watchmaker in Paris, London, Geneva and Le Locle in the Canton of Neuchatel, Switzerland. It was under his management that both pocket watches and precision timekeepers for navigation and astronomy made by the Urban Jürgensen Company achieved international fame and recognition. The Danish King, Frederick VI, granted Urban Jürgensen a Royal Appointment to supply the court with watches and the Danish Admiralty with chronometers.
The use of first class materials and the extremely robust design of all the timekeepers made by the company soon made them highly coveted collector’s items, as is still the case today.
In accordance with the practice of the times, Urban Jürgensen’s sons also entered the watchmaking profession and following their father’s footsteps, traveled abroad to study and apprentice as watchmakers. After receiving recognition as masters, they joined their father’s company officially. This led to a change in the company’s structure, which was expressed in the name Urban Jürgensen & Sønner, the same title used by the company today. The sons and grandchildren of this generation went on to ensure the Jürgensen dynasty’s continued existence into the 20th century. One member of the family, Jules Jürgensen, ended up not only studying, but later settling permanently in Le Locle in the 1830s, where he was responsible for an official manufacture under the Urban Jürgensen & Sønner name.
This is the reason why the cities of Copenhagen and Le Locle are incorporated inthe company logo, as a reference to the Danish and Swiss roots of the firm together with the date of its initial founding. The Jürgensen, with their analytical approach to the processes and methods of watch production, exercised a tremendous influence on the watchmaking industry of Le Locle,and indeed the entire Canton of Neuchatel, introducing the most modern methods to the Swiss industry of the era, for which they received many accolades and were endowed with honorary status from the city of Le Locle.
In 1981, Peter Baumberger, a trained watchmaker and passionate collector, acquired Urban Jürgensen & Sonner and is the congenial successor of Urban Jürgensen’s spirit. Dr Helmut Crott became the guardian of the brand since his friend Mr Baumberger’s death.
Since its establishment, Urban Jürgensen & Sønner always cultivated a policy of maximum quality in the art of horology, with particular efforts directed at the technical perfection of the movement combined with artistically designed cases, dials and hands of classical elegance.
Jürgensen Dynasty Jürgen Jürgensen (1745 -1811): Jürgen Jürgensen was born in 1745 in Copenhagen. Between 1759 and 1765 he worked with Johnas Jacob Lincke as an apprentice. In 1768 Jürgen Jürgensen moved to Le Locle and worked with Jacques-Frédéric Houriet, the renowned Swiss watch maker who was known as the Father of Swiss Chronometry.
He established a watchmaking factory in Copenhagen in 1775 and he coined the brand name Larpent & Jürgensen in 1780s in partnership with Isaac Larpent, a renowned Danish watch maker. In 1781 Larpent & Jürgensen started the production of pocket watches. In 1784, Jürgen Jürgensen was appointed as the Court horologist by King Fredrik VI.
Urban Jürgensen (1775 -1830): Urban Jürgensen was born in 1775 in Copenhagen. Following the footsteps of father, Urban Jürgensen travelled all the way to Le Locle to study precision timekeeping with Houriet. Under the guidance of this genius horologer, young Urban brushed up his watchmaking skills. Urban Jürgensen married Sophie-Henriette Houriet, daughter of his master.
Jacques-Frédéric Houriet & His Daughter, Sophie-Henriette Houriet
In 1798, Urban Jürgensen introduced the steel cylinder escape wheel. He then moved to Paris to study with Breguet, and in the following year he travelled to London to study with Arnold. In 1801, Urban Jürgensen introduced his Bimetallic Thermometer.
In 1810, Urban Jürgensen started the production of marine Chronometers and in the same year he was awarded the Daneborg order, a prestigious award by the king of Denmark. In 1815, Urban Jürgensen was accepted into the Royal Danish Academy of Science, a non-governmental science Academy, founded in 1742 for the advancement of science in Denmark.
Marine Chronometer, Circa 1811
In 1818, Urban Jürgensen started the supply of Marine and deck chronometers to the Royal navy.In 1821, Urban Jürgensen introduced the famous Krusenstern Chronometers and in the following year he announced his new, detached double wheel chronometer escapement.
Louis Urban Jürgensen and Jules Jürgensen: In 1830, on demise of Urban Jürgensen, his two sons Louis Urban and Jules continue the company under the name UJS (Urban Jürgensen & Sønner). In the same year Louis Urban Jürgensen introduced his first marine chronometer.
In the following years, Jules Jürgensen introduced precision horology and quality improvements into the manufactures of Canton Neuchatel, settling permanently in Le Locle. Jules Jürgensen Copenhagen was established.
In 1836, UJS received the Grand medal of the Copenhagen Industrial Exhibition. In 1850s legendary watchmakers Victor Kullberg and Moritz Grossmann were worked for Louis Urban Jürgensen. In 1852, Louis Urban Jürgensen awarded 2 medals at the Great exhibition in London.
In 1867, Jules Jürgensen patented his hand setting mechanism. In 1871, Jules Jürgensen was awarded a gold medal at the maritime exhibition in Naples. In 1873, Jules Jürgensen was awarded a gold medal at the Copenhagen industrial exhibition and in 1874 he was awarded Knight of the Legion d’Honneur.
Jacques Alfred Jürgensen: In 1893, Jacques Alfred Jürgensen was awarded gold medal at the international exhibition in Chicago and he received a gold medal at the National exhibition in Geneva in 1896. In 1912, Jacques Alfred Jürgensen died.
1912 – No More a Family Owned Company
After the death of Jacques Alfred Jürgensen, the last watch maker from the family, the company and brand names were transferred to the hands of new owner. In 1919, Jules Jürgensen Copenhagen started to manufacture wristwatches. The control of company, which had production sites at Copenhagen and Le Locle passed through several hands such as E. Heuer (From 1919 – 1936), Aisenstein-Woronock (From 1936 – 1974) and Mort Clayman (From 1974 to 1979). The New York based watch business group Aisenstein-Woronock & Sons continued to produce watches under the Jules Jürgensen brand name and they were mainly marketed in USA. Mort Clayman, who took over the brand in 1974, did not succeed to revive the legendary watch brand.
1980s – Revival of the brand in its original spirit
In 1980s, Peter Baumberger, a trained watchmaker and passionate collector, acquired Urban Jürgensen & Sonner and is the congenial successor of Urban Jürgensen’s spirit. P. Baumberger with his small team of skilled master watchmakers produced small series of traditionally made, complicated timepieces, ranging from 50 to 300 examples, at the privately-owned firm in Bienne, Switzerland.
In 1979, Peter Baumberger was granted permission by the owner of the UJS brand to sign his watches Urban Jürgensen & Sønner. From1982, he commercially launched Urban Jürgensen & Sønner Ref. 1 Calendar Chronograph in limited edition of 186 pieces, which heralded the revival of the legendary watch brand. In 1985, Peter Baumberger formally acquired Urban Jürgensen & Sønner.
Derek Pratt became the master watchmaker for Urban Jürgensen .This extremely talented watchmaker realized many exclusive pieces for the brand including the “Tribute Oval Tourbillon Pocket watch” – a one-of-the kind timepiece referring to all the watchmakers he admired. He passed away in 2009.
Tribute Oval Tourbillon Pocket watch
In 1990, Peter Baumberger presented the Ref. 2 Perpetual calendar wrist watch, produced in 62 examples. The models ref 3 to ref 10 followed. These watches signed under Urban Jürgensen & Sønner brand name were produced in small series from 50 up to a maximum of 300 examples. These watches were mainly based on ébauche movements from Frédéric Piguet, Le Brassus.
UJS Reference 10 – Perpetual Calender Small Seconds
In 2003, Peter Baumberger initiated his plan for a new in house calibre and in 2008; he acquired a worldwide patent for the new in house calibre with a detent escapement. In 2009, a prototype wristwatch with the patented detent escapement is presented for the first time at Baselworld. Unfortunately, the sudden demise of Peter Baumberger in 2009 resulted a huge loss to Urban Jürgensen & Sønner and Switzerland’s traditional watch making industry.
After Peter Baumberger’ death, his friend and horology specialist, Dr Helmut Crott took over as CEO of Urban Jürgensen & Sønner. Dr Helmut Crott became the owner of Urban Jürgensen & Sønner and Jules Jürgensen, and both brands began to operate under same roof. Dr Helmut Crott, a medical doctor turned horology specialist has been associated with horology industry since 1972 as a consultant of fine luxury watches.
Dr Helmut Crott
In 2011, Urban Jürgensen & Sønner presented the prototype of the breakthrough UJS-P8movement. The newly introduced Urban Jürgensen Reference 11 represents the first time thatthe chronometer escapement has been used in a wristwatch. The invention is the result of several years’ development work and has been patented worldwide.
2014: Urban Jürgensen Back in Danish Hands
In the case of Urban Jürgensen’s 240 years of history there were several events that can be described as historic recurrence, the most recent happened in 2013 and it lead to Urban Jürgensen returning to Danish ownership.
In 1976, the 200th anniversary of Urban Jürgensen’s birth was celebrated by the watchmaker’s guild in Copenhagen. At the same time, the shop bearing Jürgensen’s name had a small exhibition of timepieces from the past. A young watchmaker by the name Peter Baumberger was passing through Copenhagen looking for antiques when he saw the exhibition in the shop.Peter Baumberger had a vision whilst standing there in Gundesen’s shop. Of course Urban Jürgensen’s timepieces were well known to him, but the idea of buying the shop, including the trademark “Urban Jürgensen”, was a challenge that was too irresistible for him. In 1979, UJS owner granted permission to Peter Baumberger to sign his watches Urban Jürgensen & Sønner. He finally acquired the Company in 1985.
In 2013, the story would repeat itself when a Danish watch collector was presented with an Urban Jürgensen watch in the store that used to be Urban Jürgensen’s atelier centuries ago.
He was looking for the perfect gentleman’s watch; the sales manager proceeded to hand him an Urban Jurgensen Ref. 2 in yellow gold. He was stunned by the sheer level of handcraft and attention to detail the Urban Jurgensen watch exuded and ended up being the lucky owner of number 23 of this limited edition watch. He was given the book “The Jurgensen Dynasty” which helped him to learn about the company’s 240 year history. The choices the company had made in execution of the handcrafted watch were simply awe inspiring.
This watch collector was Soren Petersen and for him as Peter Baumberger felt 40 years prior, the idea of acquiring the Urban Jürgensen company was a challenge to irresistible to pass. After 30 years of foreign ownership, the 14th of November 2014, a Danish Private Investment Group took over the company, included in this group was Soren Petersen, who was appointed President and CEO.
For the past 30 years, Peter Baumberger, Derek Pratt and lately Dr. Helmut Crott has been steering the company forward with concepts for new calibres and a clear foundation for the 21st century. The new ownership plans to build upon this foundation producing complicated timepieces in classically beautiful styles deploying the traditional highly specialized forms of craftsmanship that will honour the long established timeless traditions of the company.
In 2011, Urban Jürgensen & Sønner presented the prototype of the breakthrough UJS-P8 movement, the world’s first wristwatch movement utilizing a chronometer escapement, thus connecting the marine chronometers and clocks made by the firm in the 18th and 19th centuries directly to the world of watchmaking in the 21st. The extreme precision and accuracy of the detent escapement, which lies at the heart of defining a true chronometer, ranks far above the tourbillon in accuracy and horological importance.
Pivoted Detent Escapement
Nonetheless, until now it was considered an impossibility to successfully implement it in a modern wristwatch. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was used exclusively in ship’s chronometers, built to withstand the motion of the open sea, always with the dial facing upwards in a gimbal mounting and set within a closed box. The demands on a detent escapement fit for the21st century are quite different indeed. In today’s world, the day-to-day shocks of life on the wrist are extreme compared to this marine environment and therefore the original escapement concept had to be altered.
Additionally, this step required smaller dimensions in order to make the detent escapement practical and accurate for modern times. After several years of research and the expenditure of vast funds, Urban Jürgensen & Sønner were successful in creating a new detent movement and far beyond that – the new movement was found to be so robust that it passed Chronofiable® testing, one of the toughest standards in Switzerland for wrist watches, with flying colours. This success closed the circle between the company’s past and present, in an elegant and mechanically perfect way, completely in line with the company’s standards and traditions.
Unveiled at Baselworld 2011, Urban Jürgensen & Sønner’s Reference P8 Chronometer is the world’s first wristwatch with a detent escapement. The new Chronometer P8 “with detent escapement” – adapted to the mechanical wristwatch – achieves a 40% better timing performance than the average COSC certified chronometer.
The collection was again updated in the following years P8 Chronometer Ref. 11C Automatic (2012) and Montre observatoire émail dial – Limited Edition (2013). At Baselworld 2014, Urban Jürgensen & Sonner presented the Tourbillon Minute Repeater Enamel Regulator and the Reference 11 C P8Chronometer with Central Second.
240 years of legacy
In 2013 the book, The Jürgensen Dynasty – Four centuries of watchmaking in two countries (in English) by John M.R. Knudsen was published and this book provides the full history of a unique family of watchmakers. First published exclusively in Danish and quickly sold out, this new and completely updated English edition (2013) provides the full history of a unique family of watchmakers in 368 pages and more then 560 illustrations.
A team of passionate investors led by master watchmaker Kari Voutilainen acquired Urban Jürgensen. Now onwards, after Sales Service of all Urban Jürgensen watches will be led by Venla Voutilainen, working in close collaboration with her father, Kari.
Leijona a historic watch brand that proudly keeps an enduring relationship with two countries: Switzerland and Finland.
Leijona means Lion in Finnish language. The brand traces its history to the last decades of the 19th century. Initially, Leijona watches were made in Switzerland. Since then, it has remained a popular watch brand in Finland. However, after the quartz crisis, the production of Leijona watches has been moved out from the country.
Finnish company Perkko has collaborated with Master watchmaker Kari Voutilainen and launched Leijona Heritage Collection as a tribute to the brand’s Swiss origins. This new series is comprised of Swiss made watches produced in the valley of Val-de-Travers.
Leijona watch brand was originated in the famous watchmaking valley of Val-de-Travers in Switzerland. Since 1892, a watchmaking company named Manufacture d’Horlogerie Lion SA had been the location where the watches bearing the distinct twin-tailed Leijona logo were made. The same logo, however, had already appeared on some of the pocket watches created by Albert Kenel in the 1880s, who would later be hired to work at the Lion factory.
The first importer of the Leijona watch in Finland was J.W. Lindroos, a watch wholesaler and retailer based in Tampere. The first documented appearance of a Leijona watch in Finland was recorded in 1907, but Lindroos may very well have imported Leijona watches at an earlier period in time as well.
The last decade of the 18th century was a period of great unrest in Finland. The popularity of the Fennoman (Finnish nationalist) movement, which sought to establish the dominance of Finnish culture and the Finnish language in a country that was still ruled by the Russian Empire, was increasing by the day.
The Russianization policy at the turn of the century also contributed to the popularity of this historic movement. Many everyday items were given Finnish names, and so J.W. Lindroos decided to register his new Lion watches under the equivalent Finnish brand name “Leijona”.
The Finnish Coat of Arms has featured a lion since the Middle Ages, and it is most likely for this reason that the Leijona watch became a symbol that the populace could use to discretely show which side they stood on. While this may sound like a small gesture, it was anything but – even the act of displaying the wrong type of painting (for example, Edvard Isto’s “The Attack”, where the three-headed Russian eagle attacks the Finnish Maiden) could result in exile.
The use of wristwatches became more widespread in Finland during the wars, and the Leijona watch could be seen on the wrists of those fighting for the independence and freedom of Finland during the Second World War. Finns have worn their Leijona watches as they reconstructed the country, educated themselves and gained new success across the globe. During all of this, the Leijona watch would always remain the best-selling timepiece in Finland, and the history of the Leijona watch encompasses hundreds of thousands of touching personal stories of success and loss.
On the 8th of November 1918, three brothers (Jalo, Urho and Oiva Perkko) founded a company bearing their family name, Oy Perkko Ab. One year later, they would purchase J.W. Lindroos’ business. Their brand portfolio now encompassed the watches made by Omega, Tissot, Certina, Rado, Leijona, Pierre Balmain and Jaz.
In 1939, Perkko became the first watch company in Finland to launch a gross price system to stabilize the retail prices of watches. The previous net price system had introduced an element of uncertainty to the market when it came to determining the “right price” of a watch.
The Second World War would also cast its shadow on the Perkko family: the company’s managing clerk, C.U. Bergman, and Ensio Perkko, the son of managing director Jalo Perkko, perished on the front in 1941. The following year, Jalo himself died from his grief, after which his position in the company was passed on to his beloved wife, Esteri.
To honor the life’s work of her late spouse, in 1943 Esteri Perkko made the remarkable decision to donate 500,000 Finnish marks to the establishment of the Finnish School of Watchmaking. The school began its operations only a few months later in February 1944.
A lack of currency, strong import regulations and high tariffs created a good opportunity for smuggling activities. Coffee, watches, tobacco and money soon became the most smuggled items to Finland. Leijona watches would also become a popular item with smugglers, as tens of thousands of Leijona wristwatches were smuggled to the country.
The ever-popular Leijona watches were easy to smuggle as, by the 50s, the watches were manufactured in numerous Swiss watch factories across Switzerland. For its part, the Perkko Company attempted to restrain these activities by registering the Leijona trademark in Sweden, which had served as the main thoroughfare for watch smugglers, and by having its factories stamp the letter P on each genuine Leijona watch.
In the 70s, Quartz watches became increasingly widespread and completely disrupted the market for traditional mechanical watches. The Swiss watchmaking industry was badly behind in the development of its quartz machineries, and it was decided at this time that the production of Leijona watches would be moved from Switzerland to Japan, which would allow for more affordable consumer prices and further increase the popularity of the Leijona brand.
Leijona is Finland’s oldest and best-selling watch brand of all time, with hundreds of thousands of satisfied consumers. Despite the fact that the Leijona watch has always been considered a “Finnish watch”, its origins lie in Switzerland. With the new Heritage Collection, the Leijona watch now returns to Switzerland and the same famous watchmaking valley of Val-de-Travers from which it once departed, but this time to the village of Môtiers and the studio of Kari Voutilainen, the Finnish watchmaker extraordinaire. A new page in history has been turned.
During the era of Finnish import regulations in the 1950s, Oy Perkko Ab stamped every watch that came through its official channels with its own stamp to weed out the market for smuggled Leijona watches.
To honor the company’s past, this same stamp can be seen in the back of Heritage Collection watches which has a solid caseback (Oiva & Jalo).
Leijona Heritage 1907 Collection
In 2017, Perkko, the Finnish company that owns the Leijona watch brand decided to create a Swiss made watch collection inspired by its history and approached master watchmaker Kari Voutilainen for this project.
The conceptual design of this milestone collection was done in Finland by Perkko. The Leijona Heritage watches are manufactured in Switzerland under the proficient supervision of Voutilainen.
The cases are manufactured by Voutilainen & Cattin SA who also assembles the complete watches. The dials are made by Comblémine SA, the dial manufactory established by Kari Voutilainen. The straps are made by Rhein Fils.
Inspired by the historic Leijona watches, this series is comprised of three different models – Jalo, Urho and Oiva – representing the first names of the three Perkko brothers. The Leijona Heritage 1907 collection now includes three categories: Classic (Oiva and Môtiers), Sport (Jalo) and Chronograph (Urho).
The Leijona Môtiers Classic Limited Edition celebrates the collaboration between Leijona and Kari Voutilainen, as well as the village of Môtiers, located in the valley of Val-de-Travers, where the watches are produced. The blue color of the dial invokes the atmosphere of Val-de-Travers, and blue is also the favorite color of Voutilainen. Introduced in 2019, this timepiece was limited to 50 pieces. Sold out.
Dimensions of case: width 39 mm & thickness 11,6 mm
Dial colour: Blue sky
Caliber: Sellita SW200-1 self-winding movement
Case material: Stainless steel
Strap material and colour: alligator leather, brown
Strap dimensions: width 20 mm
Water resistance: 30 m
Power reserve: 38 hours
Price: 2,790 Euros
Origin: Swiss Made
Leijona Heritage 1907 Oiva Classic
The Leijona Oiva Classic automatic wristwatch is inspired by the style of the Leijona watches made in the 1950s. Its clean and harmonious appearance exudes a timeless sense of style that makes a real statement.
The name of the model is a reference to one of the founding brothers of Oy Perkko Ab, Oiva Perkko. Oiva was the oldest of the brothers and very skilled goldsmith in his own right. He served as the director of the store that the brothers purchased from J.W. Lindroos. Oiva was known for his restrained and balanced nature, and these qualities can be seen in this namesake watch as well.
Equipped with the Sellita SW200-1 self-winding movement, this stainless steel watch is available in two dial colors: Graphite Black and White.
Case: Stainless steel
Thickness: 11.6 mm
Width without the crown: 39 mm
Width with the crown: 42.60 mm
Lug to Lug: 48.72 mm
Dial: Graphite Black/ White
Strap width: 20 mm
Crystal: Sapphire, 1.5 mm thick
Movement: Sellita SW200-1, power reserve 38 h
Water resistance: 30 m
Price: 2,590 Euros
Origin: Swiss Made
Leijona Heritage 1907 Jalo
Leijona Jalo Sport is a practical and robust watch that is also equally elegant and sporty in appearance. The design of the watch is based on the style of the Leijona watches made in the 1960s.
Jalo Sport is named after Jalo Perkko, one of the three founding brothers of the company and the company’s beloved managing director who was famed for his honest nature and bold initiatives.
This stainless steel watch has a water resistance of 100 meters. It houses the Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement. The Leijona Heritage Jalo Sport model is available in two dial versions: Royal Blue and Sunburst Gray.
Case: Stainless steel
Thickness: 13.20 mm
Width without the crown: 45 mm
Width with the crown: 48.60 mm
Lug to Lug: 53.50 mm
Dial: Royal Blue/ Sunburst Gray
Strap: Leather & rubber hybrid strap made by Rhein Fils
Strap width: 22 mm
Crystal: Sapphire, 1.65 mm thick
Movement: Sellita SW200-1, power reserve 38 h
Water resistance: 100 m
Price: 2,590 Euros
Origin: Swiss Made
Leijona Heritage 1907 Urho
The Urho Chronograph is a testament to the daring speed and aesthetic qualities of the 1970s. Urho Perkko was the youngest of the three founding brothers and a highly skilled watchmaker. Urho was responsible for the company’s office in Vyborg, and he was known for his meticulous nature and acute sense of style.
This stainless steel automatic chronograph watch is equipped with the Sellita SW510 BH movement. Measuring 42mm in diameter, the watch is water resistant to 100 meters.
The Leijona Heritage 1907 Urho chronograph is available in three dial versions: Black, White Panda and Toivo (with deep blue sky dial with satin silver sub-dials).
Harry Winston is one of the prestigious Jewellery houses in the world. This jewellery making empire was established by the legendary American jeweller Harry Winston (1896 –1978) in New York in 1932. Known as the King of Diamonds, he owned some of the world’s most famous gemstones, including the Jonker, Hope and Winston Legacy Diamonds.
In 1989, the House of Harry Winston entered the world of watchmaking. The brand’s flagship watch collections are: The Premier, the Avenue, the Ocean and the Midnight. Harry Winston’s Opus and Histoire de Tourbillon series showcases the brand’s innovative approach to high mechanical watchmaking.
In 2004 Harry Winston pioneered the use of Zalium™ in watchmaking. The House’s Jewelry Timepieces perfectly pair the high quality craftsmanship of the “King of Diamonds,” with the time-honored traditions of fine Swiss watchmaking, to further the breathtaking creative legacy of Harry Winston.
In 2007, Harry Winston opened of its own watch manufacture in Geneva. Acquired by Swatch Group in 2013, Harry Winston now benefits from the prized expertise of the world’s leading watch manufacturer.
Headquartered in New York, Harry Winston, Inc. operates retail salons worldwide, in locations including: New York, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
1896: Harry Winston is born in New York.
1920: Harry Winston opens his first business, The Premiere Diamond Company, at 535 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
1932: Debut of the newly founded Harry Winston salon, located in Rockefeller Center in New York.
1933: Harry Winston marries Edna Fleishman, a style arbiter in her own right, who will remain his life-long confidante and muse.
1943: Harry Winston is the first jeweler to lend jewelry to an actress for the Academy Awards. Jennifer Jones wears classic Winston diamonds when she accepts an Oscar for Best Actress.
1947: Katherine Hepburn Attends the Academy Awards wearing Harry Winston’s famous Inquisition Necklace.
1949: Harry Winston purchases the Hope Diamond.
1949 to 1953: Harry Winston’s first exhibition of rare gems travels throughout the United States. The “Court of Jewels” includes the Hope Diamond and other legendary gems. Proceeds from the show are donated to the March of Dimes.
1955: Harry Winston opens in Geneva, Switzerland followed by a 1957 opening in Paris.
1958: Harry Winston donates the Hope Diamond to the National Museum of Natural History of the United States.
1960: Harry Winston moves to a distinguished townhouse on Fifth Avenue and 56th Street, designed by famed French interior-designer Stephane Boudin of Jansen.
1962: Harry Winston appoints Ambaji V. Shinde from India as head designer. Shinde’s creations revolutionize jewelry design.
1967: Winston acquires a 241-carat uncut diamond, which produces an exceptional 69.42 carat pear shaped jewel. The gem is purchased by Richard Burton for his wife, Elizabeth Taylor. The Magnificent gem becomes known around the world as the Taylor-Bu on diamond.
1978: Harry Winston dies in New York.
1986: A Harry Winston salon opens in Beverly Hills on Rodeo drive. To commemorate the event, a cake studded with diamonds is created.
1988: Harry Winston opens in Tokyo on the Ginza.
1989: Harry Winston introduces a collection of watches known as “Ultimate Timepieces.”
1995: Harry Winston introduces the Perpetual Bitretograde Calendar timepiece.
1997: The Harry Winston Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution opens with the Hope Diamond as its centerpiece. Harry Winston becomes the only jeweler to have a museum gallery in its name.
1998: Gwyneth Paltrow wears a Harry Winston Princess Necklace & iconic Cluster earrings to win her Academy Award.
2001: Harry Winston introduces the Opus Series, creating an exceptional timepiece annually in partnership with one of Switzerland’s most gifted haute horologists. Halle Berry, wearing Winston’s Pumpkin Diamond Ring, becomes the first African American woman to win an Academy Award for Best Actress.
2004: Harry Winston continues its worldwide expansion, opening salons in Las Vegas and Taipei. Richard Avedon photographs an advertising campaign for Harry Winston. It is his last commercial work. Aber Diamond Corporation purchases a majority interest in Harry Winston, Inc., combining the strategic “bookends” of the diamond business—mining & retail.
2005: Harry Winston opens new salons in Miami and Honolulu.
2006: Harry Winston opens in London, Dallas, and Omotesando, Tokyo. Aber acquires 100 % owner ship of Harry Winston. Inspired by Harry Winston’s love of Nature, the “Natural History Campaign” debuts in New York.
2007: Harry Winston opens a new watch manufacture in Geneva, Switzerland, the watch making capital of the world. Harry Winston debuts on the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol HWD. Salons open in Beijing, Chicago, and Hong Kong.
2008: A new salon opens in South Coast Plaza , Orange County, California.
2009: The “Ultimate Design” program is unveiled, inviting clients to commission one-of-a-kind jewels inspired by the Winston archives. The New York Collection debuts, celebrating the unsurpassable style, spirit, and glamour of Manhattan. Winston opens its 19th global retail salon in Singapore. Harry Winston celebrates the Hope Diamond by designing a new setting for the legendary gem.
2010: Harry Winston launches the Lily Cluster Collection.
2013: Harry Winston acquires the 101.73 carat Winston Legacy Diamond. Aber Diamond Corporation sells Harry Winston Inc., to the Swatch Group. The transaction includes the brand and all the activities related to jewellery and watches, including employees worldwide and the production company in Geneva, Switzerland.
2015: Harry Winston, Inc. appoints American singer, songwriter, and producer Robin Thicke, as its timepiece ambassador.
With 15 million watches sold throughout the world during the more than 130 years of uninterrupted activity since its creation, West End is an iconic Swiss watch brand.
West End Watch Co was founded in 1886 in Bombay by the Swiss company Droz & Amstutz. This company acted as distributor of the watches manufactured by Alcide Droz & Fils in the Swiss Jura and sold in India under the West End brand name.
Established 1864, the company Alcide Droz & Sons was based in St-Imier. In India, West End watches proved their excellence in their use from the end of the 19th century by all the staff of the main railway companies, the post and telegraph offices, the police, the ports and the Indian and British government administrative services.
The elite corps of the Imperial Army of India had already been able to test out and appreciate the robustness and reliability of West End watches in extreme conditions. It was due to this good reputation that during the First World War British Army troops, including elite Indian corps, who were based in the Middle East with the aim of breaking up the German-Turkish coalition, necessarily wore West End watches.
No less than 50,000 West End watches were in fact acquired by the British Army to equip its troops, notably Lawrence of Arabia’s famous Camel Corps and the Royal Air Force.
In 1917, the Société des Montres West End SA was formed in Geneva in order to promote the marketing of the brand name throughout the world.
In the course of the following decades, West End established itself as an outstanding brand of Swiss watches, producing millions of wristwatches for markets ranging from the Red Sea to China. In 2001, the brand was taken over by the Monnat family and transferred to Leytron, in the Canton of Valais, in the heart of the Swiss Alps.
In 2005, the company celebrated its 120th anniversary of uninterrupted presence in Asia with the introduction of its “Silk Road concept”.
In 2009, West End Watch Co launched special edition “Queen Anne” watch in 18 ct solid gold to commemorate the brand’s 120th anniversary. In 2016, the brand introduced «The Impermeable», a modern diver watch.
Presently, the brand offers Swiss made timepieces from its collections like Silk Road III, Sowar Prima, Sowar 1916, Secundus, The Classics, Impermeable, Everbright, Silk Road I, Silk Road II, Queen Anne, Queen Anne and 8457.
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