One of our long time readers and friends, Boris Pjanic, told us about his Brüggler chronograph. A new brand from Zürich, specialized in creating bespoke chronograph watches. Even though Boris considers himself to be a vintage watch guy, he was intrigued by the story of owners Katarina and Michael (Brüggler) when he first met them in London, almost two years ago.
In this article, Boris Pjanic explains why he decided to buy a bespoke Brüggler chronograph.
I enjoy meeting people who are creative and possess the audacity to create something truly new in the world of watches. In a highly saturated market it is not easy to find something new and pleasing. Often I see the revival of old ideas and revived brands with a new marketing twist, but they do not capture my heart for whatever reason. While I am generally a vintage guy, I have had my fair share of exposure to independent watchmaking and have met a lot of people in the watch industry over the years.
In November of 2015, I attended SalonQP in London where I met Katarina and Michael Brüggler, founders and creators of Brüggler bespoke chronographs. The two were so exited about their new brand that they made me curious to learn more about it. Michael showed me his first timepieces and a box filled with tons of colorful dials to explain to me the variations he can do with his watches.
Katarina explained that everything in live is about love – very much the reason why they started their brand. That made me even more curious. What does love have to do with a Swiss made bespoke timepiece?
Our first encounter at the London SalonQP was the beginning of a friendship. Every once in a while, Michael and I started to phone each other and we would spend sometimes a long time talking about life, watches and everything else there is. So in the summer of 2016, I decided to visit Michael’s company in Zürich and see more of what he is actually doing with their watches. I spend several days there, took a lot of pictures, and in the end decided to go for it and buy a Brüggler bespoke chronograph. I was very impressed with the way Brüggler works, but also fell in love with their watches. I bought one with a blue dial and bordeaux red totalisors. While blue is my favorite color, I was not sure if I liked the totalisors. I fell in love with the combination or blue and bordeaux red, so I chose for this combination. It is one of many combinations you can choose from on the Brüggler website where you can create your custom chronograph.
You can choose from a variety of dial colors, and what I truly like is the depth of the dial. The totalisors are sunken in and are behind the main dial consisting each of two layers. The dial carries applied indices as well as a raised logo at twelve.
I chose the watch with a leather strap and folding clasp. This clasp has this easy adjustment system that I really like. You can see inside of the clasp how you can adjust for your wrist. Overall, I believe this is a well designed watch. It wears comfortably on the wrist and I prefer the look of a leather strap instead of a steel bracelet.
The caseback is engraved and you’ll find the Brüggler logo on there as well. You’ll also find it on the crown and clasp, of course.
What I liked especially about the Brüggler chronograph is the facet on the lugs. As a vintage Rolex fan, it reminded me of those watches. Back to the story how Brüggler started. When Katarina wanted to give her husband Michael a unique present, she decided it should be a very personal and special watch. Katarina’s challenge was that her husband not only had owned quite a few timepieces over his life, but also collected vintage Corvettes in many colors. So this brought her to the idea to create a tailor made chronograph which would match one of his old classic cars and that is the way she wanted to express her love for her husband and for watchmaking. Katarina told me that they are a very close knit couple and they love to spend time together and do things together. Together they started visiting several suppliers in the Swiss Jura. Being both watch aficionados, they soon embraced the idea to start a new adventure. A company to produce bespoke watches. According to Katarina and Michael, it was not easy to find the best suppliers and watchmakers that could fulfill their wishes. The Swiss watchmaking community is a mysteriously closed community towards new faces. Nevertheless, this charming couple convinced some of the best watchmakers to work with them on this project and it took about two years before they were able to offer bespoke Brüggler chronograph watches to customers.
While I was visiting them, the ‘Brüggler Polo Classic’ event in the beautiful Chianti region in Italy took place. It was held at the ‘Villa A Sesta’ polo club and Katarina and Michael took me with them to attend this event. In a casual atmosphere I had the chance to talk to polo players from all over the world and follow a thrilling 10 goal polo match. That combined with the typical Italian lifestyle, tasting local wines and enjoying the best ‘pici’ pasta I ever had, truly made my day. I guess it is safe to say that this is as good as life probably can get.
I am sure it is quite challenging to create a new brand and a new watch. I enjoy wearing mine every once in a while. Moreover, Michael has told me a few stories as he has been going along with his small watchbrand. Most recently, Brüggler now also offers additional materials such as gold, red gold, platinum and titanium for their bespoke watches.
Every once in a while, usually late at night, I catch myself visiting the on-line Brüggler bespoke watch creator and play around with it. It is always fun.
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