Style is the force behind substance for these watchmakers.
Many objects have evolved to communicate abstract ideas through their form. And of all the accessories you can wear, wristwatches clearly speak the most complex language. This is especially true with Switzerland’s smaller companies, which possess founding visions and principles ranging from elemental to highly personal. Small details and structures can sometimes explain these as well as the written word. A crown on a Zenith can tap into the emotion of watchmaking heritage, while Devon’s belt-drive display can flout it completely. A coiled bellows inside an HYT carries the opposing tension of metal and liquid, while Ressence’s not-too-dissimilar combination exudes a Zen-like calm.
Each of these statements is the product of a design process that is now thoroughly integrated with watchmaking’s technical side. Where once the design of a watch case was little more than an afterthought—clothing worn by the movement—it is now the driving creative process that very often determines how the mechanics are used. In our fascination with watches, this is probably they way things ought to be. The story told by design is what keeps you looking at your watch, long after you have forgotten what time it is.