Although my last blog dealt with the “Advertising Majors” of the US watch industry, one of my blogging joys is to discover a small, previously unknown (to me) watchmaker that produces beautifully designed pieces that incorporate elements from nature in unusual new forms.
Today, I discovered RSW, headquartered in La Neuveville, Switzerland. The
company is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. So this posting is also a tribute to its history.
The particular RSW watch collection that caught my eye and prompted my further exploration is the Ladyland line which is “inspired by the form of an asymmetrical seashell.” I first saw the Ladyland on WorldTempus (July 25, 2014) featuring models with noir (black) and marron (chocolate) dials. But it is the sensuous curve of the timepiece’s casework that was visually hypnotic and reminiscent of the shape of shells, both whole and tide-broken that I remember finding on California beaches.
|Ladyland, Noir and Marron Dials
My attraction to the design exemplifies RSW’s philosophy as a “contemporary firm, clearly positioned on the path of watchmaking of the future, offering users timepieces with a distinctive identity that leave nobody indifferent.” And how can anyone be indifferent to curvaceous lines that evoke the sea's tidal waves and the way they shape and fragment its creatures?
Earlier this year, RSW unveiled a Ladyland design in stainless steel with a white dial at Baselworld. All of the models in the line have quartz movements with hour and minute functions.
The company’s history is a tribute to progressive generational involvement and dedication. Beginning as a small family watch shop in Damascus, Syria, it relocated to Bienne, Switzerland in 1914 as Rama Watch by M. A. Marachly. It became a second-generation family business when Rafik Marachly joined his father in 1946. He subsequently took over the workshop in 1950 modernizing it to reflect worldwide industrial changes in the watch industry. In 1998, Rama Watch SA officially established the RSW brand, short for Rama Swiss Watch. Four years later in 2002, RSW moved to La Neuveville in the canton of Bern. There it continued its family tradition of quality watch making but also diversified into pens, leather goods and other luxury items. In 2008, RSW showcased its first tourbillon timepiece thereby gaining recognition as a fine watch maker. The business remains in family hands with M.A. Marachly’s grandchildren holding key corporate director positions. It has a worldwide network of distributors.
RSW is definitely a watchmaker to follow and I’ll be doing so with pleasure. Let me know what watch makers you’ve discovered or love to follow, either large or small and share your interests with our growing blog community.