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Emile Chouriet - Historique Héritier collection: spearheading the brand

Emile Chouriet Historique Héritier collection: spearheading the brand

Who could be better placed than the founder and the artistic director of Emile Chouriet to tell us more about the Héritier collection?

Emile Chouriet’s Héritier models are part of the Historical collection. This is the line that best embodies the company’s philosophy, and today it’s one of its bestsellers. Jean Depéry, founder of the Emile Chouriet brand, and his daughter Sophie, the company’s artistic director, talk about the genesis of the collection and the historical and regional pedigree of the brand, and introduce the two latest Héritier models, which were launched this year.

La collection Historique Héritier, fer de lance de la marque

Jean and Sophie Depéry © Emile Chouriet

 Importance of local networks

The Historique collection was born six years ago as a result of Sophie Depéry’s research into historical watch design, particularly watch design in Geneva. “We wanted to draw inspiration from the watchmaking heritage of the region, and incorporate some of its details into our watches of today,” she explains. “One of the things we focused on was the lugs.” 
“In those days cases were round, and the lugs were soldered on,” notes Jean Depéry. “We reinterpreted this detail of the soldered lugs, which also echoes the double lug which is part of our brand’s DNA.”

L’importance de réseautage local

In the mid-18th century, François Dagobert Depéry, a watchmaker and ancestor of Jean Depéry, lived on Geneva’s border with France. He supplied movements to several Geneva watchmakers, including Emile Chouriet. This harnessing of regional skills is still relevant today within the modern manufacture. “We work with various subcontractors in the Geneva region, but also in the Jura, Fribourg and Valais,” notes Emile Chouriet’s artistic director. “We couldn’t do anything without them, and vice versa. This kind of networking, which seems very contemporary, has in fact existed since the birth of watchmaking. Networks are built up through the generations. Some of the companies we work with are run by the son, who took over from his father, who inherited it from his grandfather. You can’t work with companies like this without mutual respect. The Historique collection is dedicated to these, our most cherished values.”

Héritier à Guichets and Héritier “Black”

The new Héritier à Guichets is a 40 mm titanium model with Emile Chouriet’s signature double gadrooned lugs. On the sunray-brushed and satin-finished anthracite grey dial, the time is read without the aid of hands via three arc-shaped apertures. A traditional square window shows the date. Sophie Depéry explains: “This model is inspired by handless pocket watches from a hundred or so years ago, but it also has quite a radical and pure design that’s in tune with what the new generation of clients is looking for. It houses an ETA movement that we have modified with special discs. It costs CHF 2,120 with a leather strap. We produce timepieces that offer very good value, given the work that goes into them, and their high-quality movements.” The movement inside this Héritier is the EC9227, which beats at 28,800 vph and provides a power reserve of 38 hours. The automatic movement is wound by Emile Chouriet’s bidirectional rotor, and the watch is adjusted via the three-position crown, which governs manual winding, date adjustment and time setting with a stop-seconds mechanism. 
The Héritier à Guichets is worn on a black calf leather strap with alligator pattern.

Historique Héritier collection: spearheading the brand

Héritier à Guichets © Emile Chpuriet

The Héritier Black is also a 40 mm model (the maximum size for Emile Chouriet, which has several shops in China, where large formats are less popular), driven by an ETA movement, the calibre EC9316, reworked by Emile Chouriet’s watchmakers. But that’s where the similarities end. This classic stainless steel 3-handed watch with date at 3 o’clock comes with a black dial punctuated with slim baton markers in steel, and four subtle red accents. This sporty but classic aesthetic, in a mechanical watch that offers unbeatable value for money, explains the model’s success. “Quality is our watchword, and our clients can take home a fine automatic mechanical watch for under 1000 francs,” notes Sophie Depéry. “The trend for classic minimalism and simplicity has become global – except perhaps for some Middle Eastern markets, where they prefer their watches to have more going on – but the new generation is pretty unanimous in its appreciation for classic design with a sporty twist. I think that’s the future, for every brand,” she concludes. 

Historique Héritier collection: spearheading the brand

Héritier Black © Emile Chpuriet

Héritier à Guichets, leather strap: CHF 1,970
Héritier Black, leather strap: CHF 835; steel bracelet: CHF 910

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