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Behind The Scenes At Schwarz Etienne

A look behind the curtain at the Chaux-de-Fonds manufacture.

By Benjamin Teisseire

In an ever more standardized world, standing out is key. Schwarz-Etienne understands this balance required and perfectly asserts their unique style via timepieces and watchmaking methods.

Achieving serious work, while respecting high horology traditions does not have to rhyme with dull classicism or artistic ambiguity. The Chaux-de-Fonds based brand hits the authenticity and transparency notes with a playful tone.

Less formal Haute horology

Like many rising independent brands, Schwarz Etienne reveals itself through its timepieces – innovative, fulsome, different. As Mauro Egermini, straight-forward speaking general director of the brand, puts it: ‘‘We are here to play high horology down.’’ As they have nothing to hide, they reveal all. The movement side of the TSE PSR 122.00 caliber is concrete proof of this. It is the result of a fully autonomous approach as everything is produced internally through his sister company La Division du Temps, a specialist in watch movements, E2O Innovations, focusing on exhausts and regulating bodies, including balance wheels and spirals, and the manufacture of bridges and decks.

The automatically-wound movement bears two peculiarities: the tourbillon revolves counter-clock wise and the innovative small second retrograde mechanism is fully visible on the dial side. The movement has simply been reversed, making it Irreversible, just like the authentic tale of Schwarz Etienne.

Color declinations

This year, two new colorful fine stones adorn the Tourbillon Petite Seconde Rétrograde: the dark blue of the Opal and the turquoise blue of the Lapis Lazuli dress up the hours and minutes disk off-centered at 5 o’clock, as well as the half circle of the small seconds at 11. The endless ballet is fascinating and permanent, enhanced further by the motions of the micro rotor at 9 and the tourbillon at 2 o’clock. The power reserve enables watch lovers to benefit for a full 72 hours. The 18-carat grey gold (with Opal dial) or stainless steel (with Lapis dial) both 44mm cases are complemented by a black alligator bracelet with stitches and inner lining in the same color as the delicate stone on the dial. A deployant clasp, in the same material as the case, bears the SE logo providing the finishing touch.

An evolution of modularity

The true strength of the manufacture resides in the ingenuity of its calibers, elaborated to be evolving and modular. They can be adapted and personalized at-will by the house’s master watchmakers for their final customers. The latter could be savvy collectors – as much as third party brands to whom Schwarz Etienne’s La Division du Temps has started selling their innovative movements with impeccable finishing.

On top of its strong identity, another chord to add to the brand’s arch is that it produces truly in-house movements. Schwarz-Etienne’s refreshing authenticity and transparency already have their clients and collectors rejoicing.

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