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Chronoswiss - The story behind the Ouroboros unique piece for Only Watch 2015

Chronoswiss The story behind the Ouroboros unique piece for Only Watch 2015

For Chronoswiss’ second Only Watch contribution, the brand decided to develop a special watch highlighting hand engraving.

WorldTempus caught up with the Head of Design for Chronoswiss, Maik Panziera, to take a look at the development of this special watch.

Why was it important for Chronoswiss to be involved in Only Watch?
It is a tradition at Chronoswiss to get involved in the service of a good cause. Chronoswiss has always been committed to charitable organizations such as HORIZONT (a shelter for homeless mothers and their children), the Make-A-Wish Foundation Switzerland and the Freedom project. We simply feel it is our responsibility as a company to give something to those in need. It is our second time to be involved in Only Watch and we see this as a challenge to think of a very special piece to be created only for this occasion.

How was the Ouroboros conceived?
When creating a piece for Only Watch, we have always come from a philosophical angle. For us, it is not sufficient to just change something on the dial, or add another color – it has to be an independent, utterly self-contained timepiece. For 2013, we built “The Three Apes”, which was an interpretation of the famous “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” proverb. For this year´s auction, we were looking for something symbolizing eternal re-creation and the ever-returning circle of life. This is how the ‘Ouroboros’ came into being.

How difficult was it to create the Only Watch Ouroboros?
We had to find a way to picture the serpent/dragon-like figure, but not like a Chinese dragon nor like a “cute” kind of monster. Having said that, it sounds a little weird, but this was a really difficult stage in designing the watch dial. And, of course, it was then another challenge to implement this on the dial by hand-engraving.
We gradually developed the figure as a “fierce” mix of serpent and dragon, which creates a mystical impression. And I think we were successful in achieving this: a rather menacing beast in contrast to the beautifully executed craftwork of the hand-engraved dial and the pristine sound of the quarter repeater watch. Also, it was not easy to find someone who is able to perform this kind of ‘relief’/3D engraving in a masterful way.

 Where does the Only Watch Ouroboros fit into the overall mission of Chronoswiss?
One important part of the Chronoswiss collection is our Artist line. All the pieces are manufactured in our workshop in Lucerne where we have a studio for high-fire enameling and ancient rose engines to create guilloche, among other equipment. So for us, it is only logical that our Only Watch contributions are dedicated to the fine arts and crafts.

The ‘Ouroboros’ is a real unique piece, not simply a variation of something already existing. It is the first time we have ever done a watch with a hand-engraved dial. In addition to the craftsmanship, our Only Watch offering is provided with a very special technology and movement, since it is a quarter repeater watch.

The brand

Chronoswiss prides itself on being an independent family-owned company that upholds century-old traditions such as enamelling and engine turning. It has always used top-quality components from Swiss suppliers in order to produce the finest quality timepieces.

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