Independent watch brands are not identified by business ownership but rather by leadership. Brands operated by and for timepiece enthusiasts who are serious about making a real difference in the horological space are who tends to shine with collectors. Eventually, collector fervor about those brands who perform or craft best translates into popular consumer sentiment. Today’s luxury watch industry is full of still-small names whose hearts have large ambitions. One exemplary brand is Switzerland-based Mauron Musy.
The timepiece maker claims that it will never produce more than 600 watches per year and adheres to a strict “100% Swiss Crafted” standard for product origination. This is essentially a promise that all of the watch’s parts and labor will be restricted to the country of Switzerland. It is specifically antagonistic to the more popular “Swiss Made” label, which leaves plenty of margin for parts to be produced in other countries. More so, Mauron Musy claims that the parts that comprise its watches are produced no more than 60 kilometers away from their manufacture location in Switzerland’s Broye Valley.
Mauron Musy was founded by a group of precision micro-mechanical engineers who imagined a brand unlike any other, one that implemented their inventions and their sense of taste and values. The seminal moment for Mauron Musy was the development of a watch case water-resistant to 300 meters that obviated the need for traditional seals and gaskets. aBlogtoWatch has been covering Mauron Musy since 2016, and today, the brand is at the forefront of releasing even more sophisticated technology and timepiece designs in 2022 and beyond. Its latest masterpiece is the Skeleton Armure collection, which has been reviewed on aBlogtoWatch here. Fans are encouraged to browse the various Mauron Musy stories published on aBlogtoWatch.
Now, let’s hear from Mauron Musy co-founder Christophe Musy about the innovative Swiss watchmaker, as well as where the brand is headed next:aBlogtoWatch: Visitors to the Mauron Musy website are greeted with the concept that your watches are “100% Swiss Crafted.” What does “Swiss Crafted” mean, and why is that an important part of the brand’s character?
Christophe Musy: Our watches are, of course, Swiss Made — but much more. Swiss Crafted certifies that the watch is developed, designed, assembled and that all components are 100% made in Switzerland. This is an improved “Swiss Made” that guarantees that the watch is 100% made in our region.
But it is, above all, an ethic that we defend and that guarantees local know-how and sustainability as much as possible. The components only travel 60km maximum during the manufacturing process. This ethic is very important for the founders and the team because it represents a way of thinking, an authenticity, and, really, the purpose of the brand.
aBlogtoWatch: Starting a watch brand in Switzerland is one of the many unique benefits of being in one of the last remaining hearts of the traditional watchmaking industry. That said, not everyone in Switzerland starts a watch brand. What does it take to start a watchmaking company in Switzerland today, and what are some of the types of people who follow this interesting commercial calling, in your experience?
Christophe Musy: At Mauron Musy, we are guided by passion and audacity. We do not take into account the watchmaking codes and create emotions through innovation and our convictions.
Our watchmaking is dedicated to epicureans and is reserved for a clientele of collectors who understand it. This is why we are very close to these people who often ask us to create a unique piece for them. Our confidential production allows us to do so.
aBlogtoWatch: They say that in the watch industry, each new company or concept introduced works best when it introduces some manner of innovation. What type of innovation or innovations is the Mauron Musy brand trying to deliver to the market? And is it trying to solve aesthetic problems? Engineering problems? Performance problems? Or a combination of these factors?
Christophe Musy: We have been working for big names in watchmaking for many years, and this experience has led us to understand the essential problems of the watches and to find technological solutions to solve them. Mauron Musy watches have an assertive and highly identifiable design that results from the nO-Ring technology, a water-tightness technology to 300 meters that is a world first.
We think about working on each component so that the watch is reliable and robust, and we work like engineers by putting the technologies in the foreground. The nO-Ring technology is one of them.
aBlogtoWatch: The Mauron Musy brand is named as such because of its founders, Eric Mauron and Christophe Musy. Help people understand your different personalities and what each of you brings to the watchmaking table.
Christophe Musy: We do not come from a watchmaking background. We are just crazy mechanics and engineers who love working on new challenges. In short, I would say that Eric [Mauron] represents the know-how, while I am on the innovation side of the brand. But we find ourselves in a very marked ethic, and we want to defend Swiss watchmaking as it was created at the beginning — with local manufacturing, transparency for our customers, exclusive and quality products — values that watchmaking has somewhat forgotten, lately.
aBlogtoWatch: Now that the Mauron Musy company is starting to mature after the successful launch of at least three major products, how do you feel the brand is truly superlative in the marketplace, and where do you feel your product fits into the larger pantheon of great luxury timepieces?
Christophe Musy: Mauron Musy watches are the image of the work of watch engineers who aim to put on the market unique pieces with an impeccable finish and who are driven by a boundless passion. Our MU05 skeleton model was sold out in a few weeks and answered to a clientele that wants to stand out, more and more. The particular design “form and function” linked to nO-Ring technology, the Swiss Crafted, the exclusivity of our collections, and the impeccable finishes are all assets that we can offer through our mastered productions.
aBlogtoWatch: When watch designers today want to come up with a new product idea, there are so many potential avenues to go down, from emulating classic favorites to inventing new aesthetics or working with novel materials. What drives product design at Mauron Musy, and what inspires you to come up with new product ideas and executions?
Christophe Musy: Mauron Musy is a laboratory of ideas. We draw our inspiration from futuristic technologies that allow us to go further in terms of design and conception. This has enabled us to create a watch in 18k “Hard Gold,” whose gold has the same technical characteristics as titanium, as well as our GMT dial made entirely by laser.
aBlogtoWatch: The most distinctive feature of all current Mauron Musy watches is the case, which is both impressive from a visual and technical perspective. Help explain how the Mauron Musy watch cases are designed and constructed, while also explaining how they are intended to perform in real-world wearing conditions.
Christophe Musy: The nO-Ring technology works without a rubber seal and offers a water resistance of 300 meters. We could compare this to a car whose tires you never have to change again. We call this a mechanical water-tightness.
Only the precision and flatness of the surfaces in contact, as well as the way the watch is closed, allow this feat. Thanks to this high technology, the watches require no maintenance. Moreover, the watch is very robust and can be worn in all circumstances without fear of damaging anything.
aBlogtoWatch: What are some of the unexpected ways in which it may be challenging to bring a product to market at the desired price point when creating a Swiss Crafted product? Consumers generally understand that low production companies have to charge more per product than those watchmakers with large industrial complexes. But there are probably a number of hidden high costs that come into play when producing watches in Switzerland. Talk about some of those and the ongoing effort to create excellent products while also delivering value to consumers.
Christophe Musy: One of Mauron Musy’s challenges is, indeed, to manufacture all the components within a 60km radius form our workshops. This requires a lot of vigilance and transparency between the manufacture and these co-contractors.
Apart from that, you are right, the costs in Switzerland are very high, but the results of this approach allow us to have quality products without compromise. The watches are complicated to realize, there are many works and operations that require special devices and tools, which makes the delivery time longer. We must anticipate these factorscontinuously.
The price of a Mauron Musy is given by its manufacture, its complexity, and its finishes. It is important to understand that the philosophy of the founders is to bring an exceptional quality-price ratio.
aBlogtoWatch: Mauron Musy watches all feature machined metals with exceptionally well-defined surface textures and polishes. What are you doing at Mauron Musy so well that results in such beautiful surfacing techniques?
Christophe Musy: We are always looking for the right way to get the best of what we can find between know-how and new technology. We have developed several special techniques, and Mauron Musy is the reflection of the energy implemented by a team driven by the perpetual search for perfection.
aBlogtoWatch: Currently, Mauron Musy specializes in producing watch case and dial parts while sourcing high-quality Swiss Made mechanical movements. Talk a little bit about what is involved in choosing the right movements for your products and how you give those movements a life and character beyond the stock mechanism.
Christophe Musy: We are able to draw and design in-house and act on the watch in its entirety. Our close collaboration with the Manufacture La Joux-Perret has allowed us to develop the exclusive MM01 caliber according to our technical and aesthetic criteria. Our proximity to this partner has allowed us to produce not only a 100% Swiss movement but also a robust caliber with a good power reserve of 55 hours that meets our expectations.
At the moment, we are working on a new caliber that will be released in 2023, the development of which was carried out in collaboration with the master watchmaker Frédérique Jouvenot.
aBlogtoWatch: Consumers are exceptionally well-informed in today’s Internet age, but educating them still takes time. What types of collectors represented some of Mauron Musy’s original customers, and more recently, what types of people do you find are drawn to your products and brand story? What are some of the next messages about the Mauron Musy brand and products that you would like to impart to the timepiece enthusiast community?
Christophe Musy: Collectors are, above all, looking for exclusivity and prefer to distinguish themselves by their watchmaking knowledge, rather than by the social status linked to a known brand. But these people are still difficult to reach, despite the digital world.
With the opening of our points of sale around the world, we realized that watches sell well when you can touch them. Our efforts are now focused on opening points of sale and creating events. Digital brings some solutions but the reality is that if people can’t try it, it’s hard to adopt it. And when they do, they are usually surprised by the finish and quality of the watch, but also by the size and comfort it can provide. Mauron Musy still has a lot to unveil — a 41mm is in design for 2023, and 2022 will have some nice surprises by limited editions and a new skeleton in particular — still and always limited and different.