Home Interviews INTERVIEW: “We are really looking forward to be represented in Australia again and to live up to our past experience there”, Oliver Ebstein, CEO, Chronoswiss

INTERVIEW: “We are really looking forward to be represented in Australia again and to live up to our past experience there”, Oliver Ebstein, CEO, Chronoswiss

by Hours and Minutes Australia

Last week, Sydney’s premium luxury jeweller Fairfax & Roberts hosted a private dinner to celebrate the exclusive launch of one of Switzerland’s premier independent watchmakers – Chronoswiss. As one of the few manufacturers who still practice the traditional technique of enamelling and specialise in mechanical watches only, an evening with Chronoswiss was a rare opportunity for the true watch connoisseur. Guests including VIP’s and select media, enjoyed a specially curated dining experience by award-winning chef Nelly Robinson of nel. Restaurant, accompanied by a handpicked selection of wines and Taittinger Champagne.

Chronoswiss is one of the three brands to join the Fairfax & Roberts portfolio this year. Founded in Germany in 1983 by Gerd Rüdiger Lang, this family-owned company now headquartered in Lucerne, Switzerland prides itself on their commitment to traditional watchmaking skills and are one of the few companies to have specialised in mechanical movements following the quartz revolution. Chronoswiss was the first company to present a standard wristwatch with a regulator dial.

From the very beginning, it was Lang’s mission to manufacture watches according to the Swiss standards of watchmaking, and to use components from Swiss suppliers only. All watches are designed and made in-house at the company’s atelier in Lucerne and visitors are invited to tour the studio where they can watch master craftsman utilising age-old watchmaking skills to create these limited edition timepieces.

Click here to view the collection

We caught up with Chronoswiss CEO, Oliver Ebstein, to know more about the brand’s versatile offerings for 2018.

Could you tell us a little about Chronoswiss and your plans for Australia?

We are really looking forward to be represented in Australia again and to live up to our past experience there. As a small and independent niche brand with the capability to offer unique and bespoke timepieces, we now feel we are ready to hit this highly developed and demanding market with its sophisticated collectors. And let me mention that we are really happy to have found such a competent and passionate partner as Fairfax & Roberts.

Your association with FairFax & Roberts…

It was love at first sight when we met with Fairfax & Roberts at Baselworld earlier this year. There are less and less people able to understand how handicraft works and how intricate the details of the movement of a watch can be, e.g. Fairfax & Roberts do and they have this understanding, the love and of course the expertise for the special things, having worked with traditional arts and crafts such as enamel and guilloché since their founding some 100 years ago!

A little about the collection that will be showcased at the Fairfax & Roberts boutique in Sydney…

The collection presented at Fairfax & Roberts will be focused on our Regulator models. Having been the first to launch a wristwatch with a Regulator-style dial (off-center hours and seconds, only minutes from the center) back in 1988, the Regulator has been our most iconic model ever since and effectively also brought about Chronoswiss breakthrough as a mechanical watch brand. Recently we have further developed this iconic model, and in 2016 the so-called Flying Regulators with innovative multi-level dial constructions were first presented. From then on, we have created more and more intriguing complications, all based on Regulator watches.

Where does Chronoswiss sit in terms of price point?

The current portfolio of Chronoswiss starts from just below CHF 4,000, and ranges up to around some CHF 30,000. However, our best-selling models are priced between CHF 7,000 and 9,000.

What is it about Chronoswiss that appeals or will appeal to Australian collectors?

We have a lot to offer to collectors, I think. Being a family-owned and operated business, our collection is as small and exclusive as our annual output. We care about personal relationships with our dealers and customers, which is an asset in today´s luxury business. Besides, the brand is driven by the genuine passion for watchmaking and the courage to be different and avant-garde. Thus, we are able to offer really special models, with a strong focus on Regulator watches. And, last but not the least, our design approach is a fusion of progressive design and traditional watchmaking techniques and crafts such as guilloché or enamel dials, which is rather unique.

You’ve introduced the First Bitcoin crypto design watch limited series on auction. Could you tell us a little about this project.

To us, Bitcoins 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. By enabling payment with cryptocurrencies as early as in fall 2017, we wanted to demonstrate we also support this system. Soon, it only seemed logical to also create 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.

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