Between Tradition And Modernity – Interview

Wednesday November 18 Passion Horlogère organized a “  Facebook Live  ” with Valentin Guidi (re) founder of the Mouvex 1911 brand. One year after the awakening of this brand, founded in 1911 by Eugène and Alice Levy-Blum, known founders of the Ebel brand, it was time to take stock of the past year and find out more about the brand’s future.

We wanted to organize this exchange with a chronological unfolding of the life of Mouvex 1911. For this we questioned Valentin Guidi on the past, the present, and finally, the future of the brand. But we also wanted to get to know him. We are going to deliver some selected pieces to you through these lines. We especially encourage you to watch the film on our Facebook page, or on our Youtube channel.


The past

Valentin Guidi testified to us how lucky he was to be able to complete his academic training by traveling the world. Coming from digital, he was able to study and have his first professional experiences in Asia, America, and Europe. But he has always kept a link with his native Switzerland and with watchmaking. Everything brought him back to this universe. It was therefore very natural that he returned to use his acquired experience at home in Neuchâtel.

It was during conversations with the grandson of the founders of the Mouvex 1911 brand that he had the idea to buy the brand. She was no longer active, but he had a clear idea of ​​what to do with it. He teamed up with relatives and friends to define a project and decide to launch it in 2019.


The news of Mouvex 1911

When relaunching this brand the (re) founders wanted to define values ​​that would accompany it: Exclusivity, Excellence, Heritage, Artistic inspiration, Personal expression, Creativity.

In our discussion, Valentin Guidi defines each of these values ​​for us and explains everything by presenting the brand’s first model, the Mouvex 1911 Concept Art Déco. This watch is intended to be different from the current watchmaking proposition in the Mouvex 1911 price segment. Its presence on the wrist was desired and considered. Better than that, the (re) founders of the brand wanted their watches to be perfectly adopted by their new owners. To do this, they thought of a form of appropriation that can be compared to the “Open Source” phenomenon in IT. Mouvex has a strap attachment system that makes the watch compatible with all straps that can fit Apple Watches. The idea is excellent when you consider that Apple Watches are the best-selling watches in the world.

Another great idea from this representative of Generation Z is to leave no room for the unnecessary. The case of this watch is designed to be able to be diverted from its initial role. Indeed, its modularity allows it to be used as a display for three watches, and as a natural sound amplifier for a smartphone or tablet. A simple idea but terribly effective. This is probably not what will sell more watches, but it indicates an interest of the brand for the product environment and for all the details. The futile and the waste have no place at Mouvex 1911. We are looking for sophistication and efficiency.


The ambitions of Mouvex 1911

Valentin Guidi has a modest walk. He does not want to cut corners and prefers to take small steps . However, that does not prevent the small team around him to think of evolutions.

Having done this interview from a place he shares with his prototypist, he was able to show us some projects under study. First of all, he wants to expand the environment of his current product by adding support that can transform it into a table watch.

Again, nothing revolutionary, but it is quite simply an evolution that wants to be intelligent. Its hanging system compatible with Apple Watches bracelets would also become compatible with this support so that the watch can be placed vertically on a desk or on a table. This exists for ultra-luxury brands like Bovet, but not yet in this price range. Here again, this is not the shocking argument for selling a watch, but it complements a product environment that wants to be intelligently thought out. Enough to seduce “geeks” and build loyalty among already acquired customers.

Then we saw an evolution of this first watch, with a round case. The openwork dial would still be present, but the case would become wiser, and more consensual. What will undoubtedly attract more customers …

But above all, Valentin Guidi told us his quick wish to be able to come to France, to Paris, in contact with watch enthusiasts. Because he is convinced that his watch must be seen, tried on, and explained in order to be able to seduce. So we took a date!

This exchange allowed us to get to know this 109-year-old brand, but even more so to discover the direction that a small band of enthusiasts barely thirty years old wishes to give it. There is something fun and very serious at the same time. What undoubtedly fits perfectly with what should be the watchmaking of the 2020s.

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