The Swiss microbrand Zahnd & Kormann was founded back in March 2016 by two friends, passionate about watches, who knew what they wanted – and what they wanted to pay – and set out to design and produce watches they would want to wear. Roger Zahnd was working in a laser technology startup in Switzerland that supplied high-end Swiss watch brands. Florian Kormann was a supply chain manager for a large Swiss telecom company. “When you grow up in Switzerland, watches are everywhere,” says Zahnd. “My first real watch, a TAG Heuer, was a gift from my grandfather back when I was 15 years old. Since then, I developed a fascination for watches. Florian is also a real watch lover, collecting watches for quite a while now.
But it was never quite enough. “We both always had the dream of creating something on our own, something long lasting,” says Zahnd. “And so, one evening I asked Florian, ‘why not create our own watch brand?’ The intention was to prove it was possible, even for regular guys like us, to deliver great value for money, without exorbitant margins. And so we started right away to look for suppliers.”
They decided to focus on automatics with small complications, aimed at like-minded collectors looking for a good quality/price value ratio. Their first watch, launched in 2016, was a full calendar chronograph with an ETA 7751 movement. Once that sold out, they embarked on their latest venture, the ZK No.2, including a diver’s watch and a GMT. Both contain COSC-certified Sellita movements and 44 mm titanium cases.
“With the ZK No.2, we are offering COSC-certified chronometer movements, which is a special thing, since fewer than 3% of all movements produced in Switzerland are chronometer certified. And we offer these watches for the very best price there is out there,” says Zahnd. “Furthermore, each is limited to 50 pieces per design, which makes them quite rare.”
The diver’s model, equipped with a helium valve and a ceramic unidirectional bezel, contains the Sellita caliber SW200-1, with a 38-hour power reserve and an accuracy rating of between -3 and +3 seconds per day. It is priced at USD $850.00. The GMT, also limited to 50 pieces, has a Sellita caliber SW 330-1, and is priced at USD $950.00. Both watches are water resistant to 600 meters, with sapphire crystals front and back and Super-LumiNova coated hands and numerals. Color options include black, white, green or blue, with vertical stripes on the dial. Each comes with a titanium bracelet and a NATO strap, with an option of a vintage leather strap, at an extra cost. The watches are available immediately on the Indiegogo presales platform here and only the first 20 pieces are available for the above mentioned special price.
Best of all, a portion of each sale will be donated to an environment or NGO organization. Currently they are supporting BraHELP in South Africa. “André, the founder of the organization, was one of our first backers, and we became friends,” says Zahnd. “We liked the idea of donating to NGOs in order to give something back, and we are planning to support others here in Switzerland.”
The rough and tumble world of independent watchmaking is not easy, especially when one of the goals is to deliver a great price and high quality as a package. “It is not the fast money,” says Zahnd. “It is to realize a lifetime dream.” Again, you can find the ZK No.2 Indiegogo here.
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