Everyone knows Gruebel & Forsey watches are really exclusive. When they are priced at around CHF 400,000 (much over a crore) a piece and their numbers few, one is really curious to meet the makers. During the Baselworld show, when we dropped in to meet Stephen Forsey, the master watchmaker, we were expecting a septuagenarian, a serious sort of a man. He stumped us completely by announcing that he was in his early 40s while his partner Gruebel was slightly older.
What I write here is not about a Gruebel & Forsey Double Tourbillon 30 degrees watch but a very interesting association they are a part of. Formed in January 2006, Time aeon is a strategic alliance of a five independent watchmakers which plans to uphold the highest standards of traditional Swiss watch making and revitalise the art of contemporary horology. It aims to support, promote and uphold the art of fine watch making.
Time aeon’s founding fathers include some of the world’s finest master watchmakers namely Philippe Dufour (Le Solliat), Vianney Halter (Ste-Croix), Kari Voutilainen (Môtiers), Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey (La Chaux-de-Fonds).
We intend to “restore the watchmaker to his leading role and maintain the highest quality in the art of watchmaking” chorus the alliance members, all active creators of haute-horology. These men have chosen to unite their strengths and expertise in upholding the fine art of watchmaking, and to promote sound ethical practices.
Not a brand name, the five founders of Time aeon affirm to continue working independently; however, through the alliance they aim to jointly address issues namely loss of knowledge and skills, depletion of a highly qualified and skilled workforce, the desire and need for further development and ensure that watch making is fully recognized as its own art form.
In the form of an alliance open to the world, these independent contemporary watchmaker creators, have decided to join forces. They wish to develop and communicate their art through a common ethical perspective based on solidarity and the transfer of the knowledge that leads to watch making excellence. Together, they defend a charter that defines the technical and ethical aspects of watch making which they practise as an art without compromise.
Time aeon will sell exclusive models of the member’s watches: these will carry the alliance’s distinctive stamp. Time aeon groups three important entities under its umbrella: Alliance, Heritage and Enterprise.
In a fast moving watch making world, the independent watchmakers all have a role to play as “guardians of knowledge “. Together they ensure the mission of carrying the art of watch making ever higher and aim to maintain it well above all passing trends.
They define themselves as “watchmaker compagnæons”. This name embodies the fundamental values of companionship as it was practised in the past adapted to the realities of the 21st century, in particular the transmission of expertise and values. Their target is to pursue together the work they have undertaken individually before the creation of the alliance. To preserve the inestimable savoir-faire of these master watchmakers, the alliance has drawn its inspiration from the philosophy and knowledge sharing tradition of the trade guilds.
Time aeon Enterprise is the commercial arm which will generate revenue to enable Time aeon Heritage and Time aeon Alliance to function.
Watch World wishes Time aeon all the best in their endeavours to keep up the good work of making exquisite watches.