Monday, February 21, 2011

Gevril -"Watchmaker to the Crown"

The year is 1758, the world is embroiled in the Seven Years' War and George Washington is a young senior officer of the colonial forces. It will be another 31 years before he becomes the first president of the United States. 1758 is also the year the watch company, Gevril - watchmaker of kings, is founded in the Swiss La Chaux-de-fonds.

Like his elder master watchmaker, Daniel JeanRichard, Jacques Gevril began restoring timepieces. His talent and superior craftsmanship were immediately recognized. This is in an era where precision timekeeping is at a frenzy, fueled in part by the Longitude Act of 1714.

In 1743, Jacques Gevril crafted his own chronometer enabling sea vessels to determine their longitude and preventing terrible accidents at sea. The legend of Jacques Gevril's unparalleled watchmaking abilities travelled far and wide. In 1758, the king of Spain, Ferdinand VI, known for his refined tastes, heard about a legendary watchmaker, Jacques Gevril, and send a messenger to commission a timepiece for His Majesty. On completion, Jacques Gevril voyaged to Madrid to personally present his timepiece to the King.

At first glance, the King realized the timepiece was nothing like he had ever seen before. Used to a life of luxury, he had seen many beautiful things in his days, but this timepiece was different. The King was so impressed by the impeccable craftsmanship and sought after precision, he appointed Gevril "Watchmaker to the Crown."

Gevril watches became renowned for their high quality, and thus gained international success. Jacques's talented son, Moyse Gevril followed in his father's footsteps, and ,in 1784, he too found success as "Master Clockmaker" In the 1800's, Gevril's enamelled dials became all the rage, while constantly improving precision.

(inset circa 1781)

Gevril watches were highly known among horological circles, but lesser known among the general public and knowledge of these fine watches dwindled. In 2001, the brand name was given a breath of new life.

The brand name was purchased by Mr. Samuel Friedman, an American salesman, who understood the importance of upholding Gevril's 250 years of watchmaking tradition as well as catering to the current horological arena. Mr. Friedman even goes as far as fashioning his dials in the likeness of the dials from the Gevril of yesteryear. Gevril watches are meticulously hand crafted utilizing high quality materials.

A highly popular model is the Glamour Pink Dial Leather Women's as well as The Avenue of America's Timepiece depicted to the left sporting a sleek elegant rectangular dial surrounded by a warm 18k rose gold bezel rendering a bold presence. Arabic Numeral hour markers seem to dance and glitter with confident energy. The impeccable craftsmanship is evident in the sleek design and precise timekeeping. With this type of quality, it is no wonder that Gevril manufactured a mere 6000 pieces a year. Collections are created in limited editions of but 250 pieces for steel versions and 100 pieces for gold versions. Gevril is not looking to provide watches to the masses, but rather to people who appreciate the art of excellent watch making.

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