Watchmaking is, I have learned, a delicate mix of art and industry.
In early 2018, after a quarter century down the rabbit hole becoming countless late nights and weekends of drawing and designing this thing I had in my mind, I had a set of detailed drawings and specifications. I had founded a company in Melbourne, Australia. I had a website domain. I had a plan.
What I did not have, however, was any way to turn paper into steel, so I set out to find the perfect manufacturing partner. Someone with the capability and depth of experience to make premium wristwatches reliably and to schedule. And shared my passion for the art of horology. And shared my unreasonable obsession with detail and would put up with my over-the-top demands about the stuff no one was likely to notice. In other words, Goldilocks.
That sounded perfectly reasonable to me, but it turns out that balance of traits is harder to come by than I expected. Like, a lot harder.
After long months of talking with manufacturer after manufacturer in Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, and Switzerland, I found plenty of industry experience and capability. Not so much the art and horological passion. I started to think I was going to have to (gulp) compromise.
But then I found a small private family business based in Riddes, Switzerland. Jean-Loup and Lititia Ribordy had the expertise, the experience, the connections and the production capability. Okay, check. So far, so good.
I’d found that elsewhere though, I needed to know if they had the genuine passion for horology that I was so sure would be needed to make the Archetype as great as it could be. Without that, no one was going to put up with my super particular ideas and standards.
After delving into what I envisioned, they came up with ways to improve my ideas which were both creative and viable for production. Their balance of art and industry was ‘just right’. I had found Goldilocks.
We have worked together now for the two years which followed, and after multiple rounds of prototyping we are ready to being the Archetype to you.
To do that we need you to join us; read on here about our upcoming crowdfunding pre-order.