Start where we are, learn from the past, look to the future.
Typically a brands story always starts at the beginning, however many great films and stories start right where they currently are. The story of HORAGE starts right where we are and the the challenges of the current times. These challenges provide opportunity and inspire us to raise the bar both in production and on a socioeconomic level.
Today we are focused on the moment and look to our past as a means to fast track into the forever changing future. New generations of enthusiasts are keeping humanities fascination with the mechanical world alive and this understanding has enabled HORAGE to navigate the turbulences of the Swiss watchmaking landscape. Simply listen to the moment and develop watches worth talking about today and tomorrow.
Looking to the future our focus is on designing and producing watches for the next generation of watch lovers. We find inspiration in the simple luxuries of life that bring friends and families together. Culinary delights, travel to far off lands and local producers have a way of sparking our next wave of product design. In the end we look beyond our industries borders where the ingredients of proportion, material usage and presentation are methodically put to careful use.
A look back in time...
Great food and close friends always seem to be a recipe for success at HORAGE. This recipe was first concocted back in 2007 when Andreas Felsl and Tzuyu Huang together with friends discussed ways of securing their futures within the watch industry. Tzuyu had established a successful OEM sourcing firm based in their current home of Biel, Switzerland that served many watch brands, however she realized that her independence was reliant on the success of the brands she supplied for. The general idea at that get together was to form a brand that would do whatever it could to secure independence as a watchmaker.
In 2008 the first HORAGE watch named Omnium began design and in 2009 Omnium would be presented at Basel World. However due to the economic downturn and a realization that easily accessible movements would not always be accessible, Tzuyu and Andreas decided to pursue true watchmaking independence and began development of their own automatic movement. In late 2009 HORAGE was put on ice and the process of engineering a movement began. Stephan Kussmaul was eager to take on the challenge and began the early development of our K1 movement. Having initiated the movement development he would move on, and pass the torch onto Jonas Nydegger and Florian Serex to complete the engineering and development of K1.
The development of K1 required a brand and HORAGE was would soon come back to life.
In 2014 the design of the HORAGE line would begin. In 2015 the first HORAGE watch called Jonas, named after our watchmaker Jonas Nydegger would be launched on Kickstarter. Jonas, a watch that later was configured to a centre second, power reserve and big date and named Array. During this time HORAGE would make further watch designs such as Autark and Solar Wind and our first watch Omnium would be retrofitted with the newly developed K1 movement.
Following the success of the Jonas watch we would begin our second Kickstarter campaign with Multiply. Multiply would be the first configurable movement watch of its time due to the modularity of the K1 movement. The success of these Kickstarter projects enabled us to further gain real world R&D from our supporters and ultimately see K1 evolve into a stable movement.
Our name HORAGE is the combination of two words; HORA is latin for hour and AGE is of course English referencing time whether it be the past, present or future. When combining the two we have HORAGE, however like the latin word Hora, the H remains silent. Simply put, one would simply say orage.
Our home is in Biel/Bienne Switzerland a beautiful city and also the home to the biggest Swiss watchmakers. Being at the epicentre means we have access to the best watchmakers and engineers leading the charge in watchmaking. Our office and our production are two separate locations, however just a few hundred meters apart. Production is taking place in a modern, watchmaking purpose built facility nestled in a wild ravine.
Our design and administration office is located in the beautiful mid-century home of founders Andreas and Tzuyu. It is where we find inspiration for the next projects, connect with customers and meet with friends over culinary creations. Sourcing, logistics, accounting, design, marketing and IT are all in-house, but supported remotely from members of our team the world over.
Swiss Made & Hand Made
Switzerland cannot be beat when it comes to movement development, advances in watchmaking technologies, supplier relations and the educating of new watchmakers in this craft. However other countries excel at hand, dial and case development and we often look to our partners in those countries as their hand work is simply cannot be beat. The case, hands and dial contribute very little to the overall production value of a premium luxury watch, whereas the movement accounts for the majority of the watches value. When calculating any HORAGE watch we greatly exceed 60% Swiss Value calculation for Swiss Made and depending on the watch it will be 80%-97% Swiss Value.
A few factors come into play when calculating the Swiss value or Swissness of a watch such as where the part was made and the value the part contributes to the total production value. In addition, a company must complete the assembly, testing and movement regulation in Switzerland.
Other contributors to the watch value are engineering and development costs.
Since we easily meet the Swiss Made designation and stamp Swiss Made on all our movements, we have place Hand Made on the dial in recognition of the many hands that build our mechanical delights. As with any handmade item there are tools and machines that need to be set and guided by hand. The polishing, assembly and testing is all done by hand and none of this work should be taken for granted. There is no machine today that we are aware of that can stamp out premium luxury watch and therefore watchmaking still remains a very human experience.
For our future timepiece production, we will honour the Swiss town in which we are located and therefore will place Biel/Bienne on our future dials. We have learned from our community the importance of relaying where their watches come from as working hands can be found the world over. In the end our movements and watches are assembled by hand at our facility in Biel/Bienne Switzerland.
HORAGE is not only a watchmaker, but also a technology company. With an understanding of the challenges of traditional retail we have looked to the smartphone and the technologies in the palm of our hands that can better retailing. Our in-house platform BrandCloud delivers a true omni-channel opportunity to retailers, brands and customers alike.
Customers come first and through BrandCloud they have access to all inventory, everywhere in the world, offered by any retailer at anytime. Furthermore they have secure price assurance, product authentication and the flexibility to shop online or off-line. Retailers benefit from increased ROI over a traditional retailer model due to little to product deposits and greatly reduced inventory risk. Retailers share costs of transactions with HORAGE and distributors and together both brand and retailer share profits from each transaction. Customers benefit from the faster after sales service and immediate warranty card reference.