Roger Dubuis – The Ultimate “Horloger Genevois”

Swiss Watchmaking

In the fine world of watch making, Swiss watches are held as the ultimate, the top of the line, and “the” choice for those who appreciate the quality, beauty, and craftsmanship of a real wristwatch. Switzerland is famed for its watchmaking history and for the hundreds of years in which that art has become a true science, something that has been perfected beyond the imagination. Those who appreciate and indulge in the world of luxury watches, know that Switzerland has become synonymous with perfection in watchmaking. While other nations are able to produce high quality wristwatches, the Swiss have truly honed their skills over the centuries to become the go-to destination for watch connoisseurs, for those who expect nothing less than the absolute best.

Superior quality and durability are trademarks of the parts and materials that go into a Swiss watch. The mechanics and mechanisms of each individual watch are tried, tested, and perfectly aligned for smooth and flawless operating ability wherever you are. Each wrist watch has hundreds of little pieces that have to be finely put together, to be precisely and expertly handled in order to produce what the Swiss are proud to call one of theirs. This whole process is very time consuming and is pain staking in the amount of attention, detail, and precision that must be paid to this craft. But the Swiss know that nothing less is acceptable, and that is why their tradition of excellence in this field has far outshone other nations.

Other countries may strive for what the Swiss have achieved, and may attempt to create watches on the same level as those found in Switzerland, but these attempts often fall short. They fall short because they lack the strong tradition of this craft, something which has woven its way into the heart of the Swiss culture and economy. Switzerland is famous for its breathtaking natural beauty, and charming villages speckled among snow-covered mountains come to mind when this country is mentioned. In addition to this, Switzerland has also come to be famous for its art in handcrafted watches — a very important aspect of its multifaceted identity, and something that has become interwoven into the country itself. The Swiss people are very proud of this and continue to improve upon techniques that have been trusted for centuries. Regardless of current trends or changes in the watch industry, the Swiss nation knows that precision and perfection must be maintained. Within the borders of Switzerland, Geneva has risen to the top, as the ultimate home for the world’s best watches.

Geneva and the “Poinçon de Genève”

Geneva is a world-class city located on the banks of Lac Léman (internationally referred to as “Lake Geneva”), and nestled in the glorious, snow-capped peaks of the Alps and Jura Mountains. Geneva is a prosperous city that is known worldwide for its strong banking industry, exquisitely handcrafted watches, and as a place where its citizens enjoy a very comfortable and peaceful life in harmony with the beautiful nature surroundings. Geneva has had a long, rich history when it comes to watches, and the attention to details, fine craftsmanship, and superior quality of those made there have given Geneva a reputation as the expert in watchmaking.

The symbol and mark of this expertise is the “Poinçon de Genève”, the “Geneva Seal”, which is the official seal of the city and canton of Geneva. This seal has been used since the 1800s, and applies to watches that have been made in the city or canton, or to those that have been made by expert watchmakers from Geneva. This symbol is the highest mark a watch can receive, and it promises that the watch has been tested, examined, and met all of the exacting criteria that are required for receiving such an honor as the “Poinçon de Genève”. Throughout the world, the “Poinçon de Genève” has come to be recognized as the mark of the ultimate in precision, beauty, and quality. So, when a watch brand receives this seal, this is the utmost praise that they can receive.

It should be noted that not all Swiss-made, nor all Geneva-made watches, receive the superior designation bestowed by the “Poinçon de Genève”. According to Swiss sources, around 20 million watches are made in Switzerland each year. Out of those 20 million, only 24,000 watches are given the highly sought after “Geneva Seal”, which shows the level of quality and perfection that each of these watches must achieve in order to be given such a high and official award.

“Horloger genevois” - The Highest Mark

As a result of all this, the term “horloger genevois” (literally: “Genevan watchmaker”), has come to mean that watches made in Geneva, or by those who have been trained in this art in the city of Geneva, are imbued with a level of perfection and luxury that cannot be rivaled. “Made in Geneva” brings a level of panache, sophistication, and denotes mastery in watchmaking, something which Geneva and its fine craftsmen can be very proud of. So, it is not something that can or should be taken lightly when a watch brand is referred to as a “horloger genevois”. This is a status that marks the brand as a superior one that has designed and built their watches to not only stand the test of time, but also to respect and pay homage to the rich history of this craft in Geneva.

The great artists of a city or region should be honored and held in high esteem, and should not be forgotten or relegated to being something of the past. It is with this, as well as with the future of watchmaking in mind, that the term “horloger genevois” has come to have such a significant meaning. This term has never (nor will it ever) be used in a light manner, given out at random or to any brand which produces a quality watch. A watch company must strive in all areas to truly be worthy of a title such as this. The exacting and demanding nature of the craftsmen in Geneva must be upheld and carried on through the coming generations. In the fast-paced world of today, neither top quality nor precision are values that should ever be viewed as “passé”. Rather, these are qualities that never go out of style and will (and should) always be able to stand the test of time.

The Watchmaking Industry in Switzerland

Switzerland is a country booming with economic power, a strong financial and banking industry, and probably the highest concentration of watchmakers in the world. The number of watchmaking firms have gone up and down over time. Despite this and the fact that the Swiss watchmaking industry has faced difficult economic periods, Switzerland has regained its lead in the luxury watch sector. There are currently 700 watch firms in Switzerland, which is a sign of prosperity. The majority of these 700 firms can be found in the Geneva region and its environs, which of course should not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the luxury watch industry.

According to historians, the beginnings of Swiss watchmaking can be traced back to the middle of the 1500s, at a time when the Protestant Reformation was in full swing throughout Europe. Jean Calvin, who was a French pastor and theologian, played an extremely active role in the Protestant Reformation in Geneva. As part of the great reform, he introduced a prohibition related to decorative accessories such as jewelry.

Under the new reforms, jewelry was forbidden to be worn in Geneva. Those involved in the jewelry world, goldsmiths, silversmiths, and jewelers faced a conundrum and a potentially huge loss of income due to these new rules. It was at this point that watchmaking came to the forefront, and artisans and craftsmen in these fields turned away from jewelry making and invested their time in the now lucrative world of watchmaking. And from this point onwards, Switzerland saw an unprecedented amount of growth and development in the watchmaking industry, leading us to today, where the centuries of hard work have led to Switzerland being at the helm of the luxury watch industry.

Swiss Watchmaking Firms in the Forefront

The world is a big place and is full of different watch firms and production houses that one can choose from. Swiss watch firms have been at the forefront of this market for a long time, with many familiar, household names that line the elegant shopping streets and shopping centers around the world. Some of these firms were started a long time ago, in the earlier half of the 1800s, while others have come onto the market more recently. One of the brightest, new leaders in the luxury watch sector is Roger Dubuis, which was founded by its namesake, Roger Dubuis, and Carlos Dias in Geneva in 1995. Since its creation, Roger Dubuis has seen unsurpassed growth and development, and has secured its place among Geneva’s other top luxury watchmakers with the awarding of the prestigious “Poinçon de Genève” on its watches.

Roger Dubuis - “horloger genevois”

Roger Dubuis exemplifies the term “horloger genevois. The watches the firm makes are handcrafted by expert watch artisans using the best quality materials, with the finest precision and attention to detail. Roger Dubuis may be a younger company in the luxury watch sector, but they have built a strong image and attracted a large crowd of loyal clientele since their bold debut in 1995. The product they produce is on par with the other top Swiss luxury watchmakers, giving the other brands a lot of competition. The meaning of a true “horloger genevois” and what that entails has already been discussed. To be considered or even labeled as a “Swiss watchmaker”, one must fulfill a lengthy list of criteria and meet a demanding amount of requirements, which is why an appellation such as this is truly hard to attain. The rigorous work put into this brand and into the watches it creates can be clearly seen on each specimen that they produce. The traditions and trademarks of Genevan watchmakers has been woven into each and every wrist watch they create. As a result of this, Roger Dubuis is a brand that can be confidently be called a “horloger genevois”.

Roger Dubuis – Watch History

Roger Dubuis - The Watchmaker