It’s an age-old recipe; a name from the past to cement your future. A watch company goes bust due to some crisis, lays dormant for a good number of years, and is eventually resurrected with passion and a large sum of money. Most never make it past the drawing board, some actually make it to prototyping and a few eventually produce actual watches. We’ve seen this with high-end brands like Ferdinand Berthoud and Czapek, or in lower price-brackets with Lebois & Co for instance, all being built on foundations of yesteryear. The latest resurrection to join the party is Carl Suchy & Söhne, and today we’re introducing you to the Carl Suchy & Söhne Waltz N°1.
The history of Carl Suchy & Söhne goes back to the Austrian-Hungarian empire, now almost 200 years ago. Carl Suchy, born in 1796, finished an apprenticeship at Franz Lehner in 1812 which lead to the opening of a clock manufacture in Prague in 1822. Success is quickly upon him, as his pendulum and wall clocks start winning prizes at various fairs, like the annual Leipzig Trade Fair. At the time, his creations could rival the leading Swiss and English manufacturers. In 1844 Carl Suchy was appointed the primary, and for many years, sole watch purveyor to the court, a testament to his skill. In 1849 Carl Suchy’s oldest son (Carl Suchy Junior to keep it simple) joins the family business and opens a pocket watch factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds. In 1866 though, the youngest son takes over from his father, when he dies at the age of 70 years old. The company lasts until 1918, with the breakup of the Austrian empire following the end of the first World War. It is intended to be a creative break, but one that lasts almost 100 years.
Now though, the brand is being resurrected by Robert Punkenhofer and his team, including independent watchmaker Marc Jenni. The Carl Suchy & Söhne Waltz N°1 is inspired by the architecture of Alfred Loos, an Austrian architect who was active during the same period as the original Carl Suchy & Söhne brand. He’s most famous for his “Loos House” which was heavily criticized after it was built as it broke with traditional architectural rules. Funnily enough, emperor Franz Joseph I was so appalled by the building that he never left his Hofburg Palace through the main gate, which is situated across from the Loos House in Habsburg. Although the Carl Suchy & Söhne Waltz N°1 is inspired by architecture from yesteryear, it is very much a contemporary design.
The design of the Car Suchy & Söhne Waltz N°1 is restrained, perhaps a bit too restrained at first. It does hold a few very interesting elements though, not in the least of which is the surprising choice of movement. The sleek 41mm wide case, in polished or black PVD coated steel, wears a quite a bit smaller than it actually is due to the very short and downward angled lugs. The rounded curvature of the case, topped with a domed sapphire crystal, make it a very wearable, comfortable watch. The white or black bowl shaped dial of the Carl Suchy & Söhne Waltz N°1is decorated with a striped finish, which run in two directions (vertical grooves on the left half, horizontal ones on the right). This creates a playful display, especially when it catches the light. The bright white dial plays a bit more with direct light in comparison to the black one, and thus is a bit more interesting to the eye.
The grooved pattern is broken by a small running seconds disc at 6 o’clock. It doesn’t have any markings, or indications on it, so think of it as a running indicator rather than a small seconds. It features the same pattern as the rest of the dial, on a small disc.Rounding out the design of the dial are elliptical-shaped, polished hour markers that follow the curvature of the dial itself and dot markers for the minutes in between. The hands are shaped like a blade and polished to perfection. Lastly, the brands crest and name is located at 12 o’clock.
The Carl Suchy & Söhne Waltz N°1 is powered by a self-winding Vaucher VMF 5401 movement. Our technical editor, Xavier, recently wrote quite a few words on the Vaucher movement manufacturer (see here) and explained just what sets them apart from others. Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier can be best described as one of the foremost high-end suppliers to third-parties, providing movements for the likes of Parmigiani Fleurier, Corum, Hermes, Richard Mille, Baume & Mercier and smaller independent brands such as Speake-Marin and Alexandre Meerson. Just about everything can be made to the client’s specifications, like the shape and finishing of bridges and plates or choice of materials or even integrated tourbillon escapements.
The extra-flat Vaucher VMF 5401 movement in the Carl Suchy & Söhne Waltz N°1 is striking to look at, with a few specific modifications for Carl Suchy & Söhne. It can also be found in the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950, which was presented in steel at this years SIHH. The sapphire caseback allows for a clear view of the movement. This is decorated with a sunray Côtes de Geneve finishing where the balance wheel is used as the “sun”. The gold-plated micro-rotor is finished with the same horizontal-vertical grooved pattern as the dial and its running indicator. The movement can store up to 50 hours of power.
It wears very snug on the wrist, and the shape of the case is fitted with a smooth calfskin leather strap with curved ends (hugging the case) and a triple folding buckle with quick release pushers on the side. A total of 4 different versions are available (Steel case with black or white dial, black case with black or white dial) and it will be produced in a run of 22 pieces only. Orders can be placed directly through their website, and the Carl Suchy & Söhne Waltz N°1 costs € 5.900 EUR. It might sound like a hefty sum for a start-up brand, but considering the choice of movement and the history behind the brand you get a nice overall package rolled into an elegant mix of classical elements and contemporary design.
Technical Specifications – Carl Suchy & Söhne Waltz N° 1
- Case: stainless steel – 41mm – polished or black PVD coated – short lugs – knurled crown – sapphire crystal on both sides – 30 meters water resistance
- Movement: Vaucher VMF 5401 automatic winding movement – micro-rotor – 50 hours of power reserve – 26 jewels – 13 ¼ lines – 21,600 vibrations per hour
- Dial: bowl shaped – white or black – decorated with horizontal and vertical grooves – running indication at 6 o’clock – polished elliptical hour markers and minute dots – polished blade shaped hands
- Strap: black leather strap – special decoration on lining – curved lug-ends – triple folding buckle with quick release pushers
- Price: € 5.900 EUR
- Production/Limitation: 22 pieces in total
For more information: www.carlsuchy.com