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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thomas Prescher’s Personal Touch

Thomas Prescher's Mysterious double-axis toubillon

BASEL, Switzerland - I had the pleasure to meet independent watchmaker Thomas Prescher and view his entire stock of beautiful and extremely complicated timepieces Thursday at Baselworld, the world's largest watch and jewelry fair. Prescher and one other person produce all of their products from their headquarters in Twann, Switzerland. “We don’t have a factory, we have a workshop,” he stresses.

I first wrote about the brand when the company introduced its triple-axis toubillon. Their watches retail from $22,000 to $415,000 and are becoming a favorite with serious watch collectors, he said. Lately, he’s been focusing on building custom timepieces for collectors. “The larger companies can’t provide this type of service,” he says. They would typically start at $415,000 but are still a value when compared to similar models from comparable large, established watch brands.

In addition, he recently introduced lower priced watches as a way to adjust to the realities of the current economy. The complications are similar to the six-figure models but he replaced the platinum and gold housings with a steel that has the look of platinum.

On of my favorite pieces is the “Mysterious” double-action toubillon. Only the time, toubillon calendar and oscillating weight are visible. The automatic movement is hidden in the left and right part of the case behind the bezel of the largely transparent watch.

There are few watch companies that are aligned so tightly with its maker. The timepieces can be ordered through a retailer or directly through the company. Since opening in 2002, Prescher, saw the value of marketing and communicating through the Internet. He is highly accessible online for consultation before, during and after buying one of his watches. In other words, his innovative approach to watchmaking doesn’t end at the workshop.

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