Cyrus Under the dial of... Cyrus
"It was time for a renewal." Driven by this maxim, Walter Ribaga reveals the complex soul of this visionary brand, named after the famous Persian conqueror, Cyrus the Great.
You are playing a game of Taboo with friends. The rules? Have people guess your brand in a limited amount of time, using three keywords or key phrases. Which descriptors would you use? Ready? You have one minute — go!
Innovation; unique design with two crowns; three-dimensional dials.
Klepcys Solo Tempo © Cyrus
What do you think will be the fundamental difference between Cyrus in 2020 and Cyrus in 2030?
Each decade has its own trends in terms of style and content. It's hard to say today what the fundamental difference will be 10 years from now. Certainly, what will not change at Cyrus is that we will continue to innovate with the utmost respect for watchmaking tradition, great attention to quality mechanics to ensure the highest level of performance in precision, unconventional and innovative interpretation of classic complications, and a design with a strong identity and personality for our timepieces so that they are immediately recognisable and exclusive.
If you had to choose a model to represent the brand, which one would it be and why?
I would name the Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon (including as well as its skeleton version), one of our latest creations. In this timepiece, we find the characteristics that distinguish Cyrus watches: the double crown and the three-dimensional dial architecture — here underlined above all by its central bridge that frames the tourbillon cage; the innovation of the in-house movement with a central tourbillon on a vertical axis.
Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon © Cyrus
Very often, the tourbillon in a wristwatch is a good exercise in watchmaking savoir-faire, but it does not always have a real effect on precision. With the observation that the watch is statistically placed most of the time in a position close to the horizontal plane, the vertical tourbillon produces its gravity compensation effect in a vertical position, which is more relevant for a wristwatch. Hence the idea to develop the Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon — which is unique and very original.
Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon Skeleton © Cyrus
Can you share with us a memorable experience you had as CEO that highlights the uniqueness of Cyrus?
We have noticed for some time that some aficionados who love Cyrus timepieces and buy their first watch, follow us regularly on social networks, keep in touch with the brand either directly or through our points of sale and acquire another Cyrus model some time later, which shows us that we are on the right track.
If you had to choose an ambassador for Cyrus from fiction, who would it be, and why?
Currently, we have a real-life ambassador in Asia. His name is Benjamin Yuen, a television actor who is best known in Hong Kong, Macau, the southern region of China and in Southeast Asia. Cyrus is not actively looking for ambassadors at the moment. We believe that an ambassador for our brand must first of all be passionate about our timepieces and fully identify with our brand.
What is your background and how did it lead you to become the CEO of Cyrus?
After my studies I first worked in the sales department of IBM, Switzerland and then I joined the watch industry, because as a young person it offered me the opportunity to start a professional career with international exposure, which had always been my dream as a polyglot and multicultural person. For a long time, I worked successfully in the sales departments of various brands as a market manager (Omega, Tag-Heuer and Movado). These brands today are part of large watchmaking groups. Then, my career path led me to become sales director of a manufacturer of tourbillon movements, which gave me a taste for high-end watchmaking. Later, for a top-of-the-range niche brand, I had the opportunity to take part in several extraordinary timepiece creations in close collaboration with master watchmakers who have made the recent history of high-end Swiss watchmaking, such as Daniel Roth and Roger Dubuis, Peter Speake-Marin, Kari Voutilainen, Andreas Strehler and Jean-François Mojon.
Walter Ribaga, CEO de Cyrus © Cyrus
In 2017 I joined Cyrus because of the personality that I saw within the product. The challenge of developing a long-term strategy and the possibility of collaborating again with Jean-François Mojon, one of the most innovative master watchmakers today, immediately appealed to me.
Cyrus was established in 2010, its name inspired by Cyrus the Great, the Persian conqueror of the 5th century BC. How does this desire for conquest, innovation, dynamism and courage manifest itself through the collections?
Cyrus is faithful to its philosophy of "The Conquest of Innovation" and sets no limits on its creativity. Cyrus has the will to go beyond the known borders in watchmaking and to innovate both in mechanics and style/design. It's a daily challenge!
Klepcys Moon © Cyrus
Cyrus believes in respecting the past in order to build the future. What vision of the future is conveyed by the timepieces of Cyrus?
Our aim is to achieve the highest possible level of innovation while respecting the watchmaking tradition, in harmony with a contemporary design that underscores its strong personality.
Cyrus is an independent manufacture and pursues a long-term strategy that is made possible by family ownership. The financial and productive independence of Cyrus is the basis of its creative freedom and the unique character of the brand.
Cyrus timepieces are said to be not just watches but works of art. To which artistic movement do these collections belong? Moreover, what special emotion would you like to transmit to brand enthusiasts?
One could say the they belong to the school of "modernism" — a philosophical and aesthetic movement born between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century in reaction against obsolete adaptations of art, literature, philosophy and other creations, despite the new economic, social and political environment. It was time for a renewal. As the poet Ezra Pound said in 1943, "Make it new!"
Cyrus identifies perfectly with that philosophy. Our challenge is to always improve, to innovate, to look to the future but without forgetting the lessons of the past.
Kambys © Cyrus
You work with the talented master watchmaker Jean-François Mojon, respected and admired by watch aficionados around the world. In what new ways does the brand reveal his talent to watch enthusiasts?
Jean-François Mojon's creative genius is well known among lovers of fine watchmaking and they know that his creations will always be equipped with innovative and original solutions. The Klepcys Moon with the reading of the hours and the retrograde date with multiple hands (both patented), the Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon with the rotating escapement placed in the centre of the dial and on a vertical axis, or the Klepcys Alarm with the alarm function that incorporates a striking sound reminiscent of a minute repeater watch, clearly bear his signature!
Klepcys Alarm © Cyrus
Above all, Cyrus sees itself as a non-conventional firm. With a very distinctive style and a number of patented functions, the Firm is committed to proving that fine watchmaking can be innovative by getting off the beaten track, without compromising quality in the slightest.Find out more >
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