100% CERTIFIED AUTHENTIC • LOW PRICE GUARANTEE

Bob's Watches - The Pre-Owned Rolex Exchange
(800) 494-3708
1900 Quail St, Newport Beach, CA 92660
  • (800) 494-3708
  • SIGN IN
  • CART  

    Empty Cart?

    Find Your Rolex

BOB’S WATCHES

ROLEX BLOG

Why Watch Collectors Should Love Brands Like Schwarz Etienne

March 29, 2019

BY Rob Nudds

SHARE

You may not have heard of Schwarz Etienne, but they like you. Or at least they must do, given their contribution to the watch industry. Thanks to manufacture brands like Schwarz Etienne (SE), everyone, most notably the end consumer, benefits immeasurably in terms of quality, diversity, and affordability.

Schwarz Etienne

Subscribe for the latest Rolex news.

A Long History of Manufacturing Watch Movements 

Despite its relatively low international profile, Schwarz Etienne has been making watch movements since 1902. That’s 117 years of accumulating the finest Swiss ‘know-how’ – the kind of knowledge you can only derive through experience.

Founded in La-Chaux-de-Fonds by husband and wife duo, Paul Schwarz and Olga Etienne, the company remained in family hands for much of its history. Recently, though, in 2007, the company was purchased by Rafaello Raddachi, a local businessman with a passionate interest in horology.

Schwarz Etienne

In the early days, Schwarz Etienne created movements for some pretty major labels, such as Chanel and Dunhill. It wasn’t until the mid-eighties, having survived and thrived through the Quartz Crisis thanks to a willingness to diversify, that the brand finally started producing luxury watches under its own name.

The brand quickly gained a reputation for avant-garde designs, executed to an exacting standard. With so many years of caliber creation behind them, it seemed like a natural step. But rather than restrict the supply of their in-house movements to potential rivals, Schwarz Etienne did the opposite.

Schwarz Etienne

Now, in 2019, Schwarz Etienne is one of the most accessible suppliers of high-end movements that go well beyond the call of duty in terms of specifications and aesthetics.

Schwarz Etienne offers four categories of calibers, with a total of ten standard configurations. The extent of modification available to independents looking to use Schwarz Etienne as a supplier varies on complexity and minimum order quantities, but even the base examples are well above the standard that one would expect from such an approachable enterprise.

Schwarz Etienne

Impressive at Every Level

Even the ‘entry-level’ calibre from Schwarz Etienne is a beauty to behold. A manual winding, twin-barrel movement, boasting a whopping 96-hour power reserve, and a constant force mechanism, the MSE 100.00 – MSE stands for Manual Schwarz Etienne – sets the bar incredibly high from the start. A second manual option is available with a power reserve indicator, and dubbed the MSE 111.00

Schwarz Etienne

The next category of movements available from Schwarz Etienne is their automatic range. With three references available (ASE 100.00, 120.00, and 200 calibers) the option to choose between a simple three-handed display, GMT functionality, or animated seconds display is on the table.

Schwarz Etienne

Schwarz Etienne

The highest degree of complication available from this provocative maker is the tourbillon, available in the TSE line. There are two options available with different dial layouts.

Schwarz Etienne

The TSE 121.00 features a traditional hours and minutes display in the centre of the dial, while the TSE 122.00 has an off-centre hour and minute register and a neat retrograde seconds hand at 11 o’clock, linked to the flying tourbillon cage – a special feature of that model.

Schwarz Etienne

Perhaps the most interesting family of movements is the ISE collection. ISE stands for ‘Irreversible Schwarz Etienne’, which, somewhat confusingly, denotes that the movement has, in fact, been reversed. By flipping the movement in the case, the true glory of its functionality is presented to the world. With a dial specially tailored to accentuate this visual appeal, the end result can be stunning.

Schwarz Etienne

Embellishing Rather than Just Enabling Genius

As fervent fans of horology, many of us are used to obsessing over the apparently minute differences between caliberes that fall within our reach price wise. While Schwarz Etienne’s output is considerably more expensive than something like Sellita, ETA, or Soprod, the level of difference you get from this independent (in every sense of the word) maker in comparison to the base-level copy-cats that power the majority of attainable timepieces is preposterous.

Schwarz Etienne

And although we’re talking about watches that run several thousand dollars, what it means is that new, dynamic, independent designers have access to a partner that will embellish rather than simply enable their genius.

Schwarz Etienne have shown their willingness to take chances on boundary-stretching designs with their own label. Although mostly enlivened by vibrant color choices, the Roswell range in particular has an organic chaos to its display that is truly unusual. Perhaps it does not scream ‘luxury’ in the way its movement deserves, but it certainly screams innovation.

Schwarz Etienne

That’s what the industry needs above all else. Creative companies and individuals that are able to leap over the walls that once stood high between them, and collaborate on funky, fresh ideas that will infuse a new generation with, above all else, enthusiasm for a craft that too often seems to operate behind closed doors.

Schwarz Etienne is a company from the past, helping to guide the industry into the future. Whatever its role may be in it, it is clear to be that Schwarz Etienne is one of those companies who will lead us there.

 

All images courtesy of Schwarz Etienne

WATCHES YOU MIGHT LIKE

SHARE

YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN

Error: Access Token is not valid or has expired. Feed will not update.
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

There's an issue with the Instagram Access Token that you are using. Please obtain a new Access Token on the plugin's Settings page.
If you continue to have an issue with your Access Token then please see this FAQ for more information.

  • WATCHES YOU MIGHT LIKE

    Get The Best Deals - Buy A Rolex
    Sell A Rolex

    Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, S.A. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned Rolex watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Rolex, www.rolex.com, is under no obligation to warranty-service watches sold by Bob's Watches. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Day Date President, Submariner, Presidential, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Super President, GMT Master, GMT, YachtMaster, Prince, Milgauss, MasterPiece, Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, and PearlMaster are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation ( Rolex USA, Rolex S.A.) To buy a new Rolex watch, please visit rolex.com for a list of authorized Rolex dealers near you.
    * Sales tax on Internet transactions is only collected on orders shipped to addresses in California or as otherwise required by law.