This September, Chronoswiss in collaboration with luxury jewellery retailer Fairfax & Roberts, held an exclusive dinner in Sydney to celebrate the launch on Australian soil of the premier watchmaking brand and its newest collection of iconic Regulators.
The CEO Magazine was at the intimate dinner set within the elite walls of Australia’s oldest jewellery retailer in historic Martin Place. The evening was full of free-pouring Taittinger Champagne, McWilliams wines and a sumptuous menu created and showcased by the iconic chef and owner of Sydney’s nel. Restaurant, Nelly Robinson.
Aside from being well-satiated in the company of extraordinary timepieces, the owner and CEO of the Swiss marque, Oliver Ebstein, stole the evening. Talk around sentimental travels, his love for flying, and the world of Chronoswiss, revealed a businessman with a passion for luxury craftsmanship that is both deeply personal and contagious.
The pièce de résistance
Sitting elegantly in its pristine glass casing, the Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear is nothing short of true mastery. The limited edition of 35 pieces marks, appropriately, the 35th anniversary for the Swiss watch house. The architecture of its dial is unparalleled with its intricate guilloche adornment. Staring into the 18-karat red-gold face sitting atop a crocodile leather wristband, it’s obvious whoever owns the wrist for this exclusive piece appreciates the finer things in life.
The latest array of Regulators is proof that the innovation of the household name runs deep. Striking the perfect balance between a dedication to the traditional Swiss manufacturing methods and the brand’s experimental DNA, you’ve got the imperative fibres that fortify the Chronoswiss blueprint.
“Although we respect traditions and are absolutely dedicated to the historical aspects in watchmaking and craftsmanship, at the same time I would consider the brand to be very innovative. Take our Flying Regulator models with their three-dimensional dial constructions which also feature guilloche decorations, they embody the perfect harmony of tradition and innovation,” said Oliver Ebstein.
The leaders in innovation
At the height of the quartz crisis in 1983, master watchmaker Gerd-Rüdiger Lang founded Chronoswiss in a bid to salvage the art of mechanical watchmaking. In 1988, the brand’s masterpiece Regulator was created. Taking inspiration from the intricate wall clocks of watchmaking ateliers in the 18th century, the Regulator was a creation that 35 years on has given the household name its avant-garde status.
The family-owned and operated business naturally sets itself apart from mainstream luxury brands. Retailing a range of opulent timepieces valued between A$8,700 to A$54,000, Chronoswiss prides itself on its dedication to quality for a select few. Focused on niche and exclusive collections, every timepiece is made with intention. Rather than succumbing to mass-manufacturing that has become commonplace among big-name luxury brands.
Chronoswiss prides itself on its dedication to quality for a select few. Focused on niche and exclusive collections, every timepiece is made with intention.
Last year, the brand enabled payment with cryptocurrencies showings its chameleon-like qualities as a brand that respects the past but is very much dedicated to the future.
“To us, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are something young, exciting and progressive. Being a rather small, family-owned brand, we consider ourselves to be quite innovative and we like – and are able – to test new ideas. We wanted to make a statement to our customers. We wanted to demonstrate we also support this system.”
Since then, the brand has created a watch dedicated to Bitcoin and the Blockchain. “This was taking up speed when we met the Japanese Tech Bureau, who were enthusiastic about the idea. And so, in spring 2018, we designed the first watches of the Blockchain series,” said Ebstein.
A focus on old-fashioned technique
Although the brand is contemporary, there is something remarkably old-world about its approach – a sentiment that has been sadly lost among a plethora of brands in the 21st century. Its very own atelier in Lucerne, Switzerland, holds facilities for high-fire enamelling and rose-engine turning. The historic techniques – including the skeletonisation of dials and movements – is vital to the brand’s undisputable success.
“It was not easy to get hold of the equipment as this is mostly historic, too. But we succeeded in finding two ancient rose-engines, and also the capability to operate them,” Ebstein told The CEO Magazine.
At Chronoswiss, the customer matters, and that’s reflected in the niche of consumers who invest in this smaller, established Swiss brand because of its dedication to doing luxury the right way.
The brand’s customer is both unconventional and passionate for watches that offer up heritage with a twist, according to the CEO who took ownership of the house in 2012. “They are likely to have an affection for small brands, because they like to know the people who created the watch.” The Chronoswiss family is just that, a brand that invites the customer to take a seat at their dinner table.
Its main focus is on personal relationships with its dealers and customers, a focus that was much present at the Fairfax & Roberts event. At Chronoswiss, the customer matters, and that’s reflected in the niche of consumers who invest in this smaller, established Swiss brand because of its dedication to doing luxury the right way.
A dynamic duo
Luxury jewellery retailer Fairfax & Roberts will house the Swiss brand in its luxuriant Art Deco showroom, assisting Chronoswiss in marking its deserved territory in the Australian market. The Sydney-based retailer has gained elite status and a loyal clientele, since it was first founded in 1858.
Its focus has remained strongly on delivering unparalleled luxury and seamless customer service. The Chronoswiss timepieces are the perfect addition to the 150-year-old heritage marque that prides itself on selling master craftsmanship that will live on for generations to come.