If watch brands are proudly trumpeting their watchmaking expertise and manufacturing capabilities, suppliers don’t always get the credit they deserve. Today we are taking a look at Timeless, a movement manufacturer that just hired two well-known industry veterans, Pierre Favre and Dominique Renaud. A good reason to make us think that we’ll be hearing more about Timeless in the future!
Created in 2008, Timeless is an upmarket movement manufacturer that is part of the Groupe Régence. Headquartered in Satigny, in the outskirts of Geneva, Régence was founded some 20 ago by Georges Léger. It is active in the production of watch components with a surprising level of vertical integration, manufacturing most of the key parts.
With Timeless, the idea is not to compete with companies specialised in the industrial production of “standardised” calibres such as ETA or SELLITA. Instead, Timeless develops and manufactures high-end mechanical movements, customised for each client and produced in shorter series. Timeless operates in a market with competitors such as Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, Concepto, Chronode or Le Cercle des Horlogers.
The activity started in Courfaivre in the Swiss Jura, where a couple of hundred movements per year are produced. With the Group support, most of the parts are manufactured in-house with the exception of the jewels, the barrel spring and the regulator. The production of balance wheels is now being considered. The movement portfolio ranges from 3-hand calibres to flying tourbillons or even chronographs with the calibre 2252, an integrated column-wheel movement with a peripheral rotor. For instance, Code41 or Charles Girardier are two brands using Timeless movements and openly communicating about it.
Next to this entity headed by Damien Salgat (ex-Rolex, Porsche Design/Eterna), Timeless has now set up a Geneva-based atelier, hiring two renowned industry veterans, Dominique Renaud and Pierre Favre. Relying on their expertise and creativity, the aim here is to be an Haute Horlogerie workshop creating custom-made, high-end complication movements in even-shorter series than in Courfaivre. And given their profile, we expect to hear more about Timeless in the future!
A veteran of the Swiss watch industry, Dominique Renaud is known for founding Renaud & Papi (now part of Audemars Piguet) together with Giulio Papi some 40 years ago. After a short retirement period, Renaud made a comeback a few years ago with the presentation of the DR01 concept, on which he is still working with Timeless. Renaud will specifically focus on the creation of new concepts, concentrating on escapements and oscillator and taking advantage of some of the DR01 patents.
After working for over 20 years for Patek Philippe, Pierre Favre took part in the development of BNB where, for instance, he was involved in the creation of the 30-day power reserve Quentin for Jacob & Co. In 2010, he created MHC, a company that developed impressive complications such as multi-axis tourbillons (for Girard-Perregaux or Graff) or minute repeaters. Several of the MHC projects have been taken over by Timeless such as the Moser Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon.
For more information, please visit www.timeless-sa.ch.