April 26th, 2019, was an important date for Polish history. Dedicated to Poland’s most famous composer and virtuoso pianist Frédéric Chopin, a high-end watch brand bearing his name was presented. International journalists and several highly regarded guests gathered in Warsaw to witness the event.
In Żelazowa Wola, a village some 50 km west of Warsaw with today 65 inhabitants, Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin was born on the 1st of March 1810. He grew up in Warsaw, which in 1815 became part of Congress Poland, formerly known as the Kingdom of Poland. Under the age of 10, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising.
…only 30 public performances
He then settled in Paris where he in total gave only 30 public performances in a more intimate atmosphere. He supported himself by selling his compositions and by giving piano lessons, for which he was in high demand. Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his other musical contemporaries including Robert Schumann.
In 1835, Chopin obtained French citizenship. After a failed engagement to Maria Wodzińska, he maintained a troubled relationship with the French writer Amantine Dupin, also known as George Sand. A brief and unhappy visit to Majorca with Sand in 1838–39 would prove one of his most productive periods of composition.
In his final years, he was supported financially by his admirer Jane Stirling, who also arranged for him to visit Scotland in 1848. For most of his life, Chopin was in poor health. He died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39, probably caused by tuberculosis.
As said, an intimate group of international journalists was invited to witness and cover the presentation of this new high-end watch brand. Starting after an excellent dinner, the group was invited to an exclusive private tour through the Muzeum Fryderyka Chopina, of which you’ll find an impression in the picture gallery here below:
Following the tour, Mr. Michal Dunin, CEO and founder of Chopin Watches, invited the present journalists as well as several watch collectors as his guests to the catacombs of the museum. Although Chopin is an entirely new brand in the watch business, Mr. Dunin isn’t. Since 2012 he’s one of the driving powers behind the revived Polish Błonie watch brand as well.
…Mr. Dunin isn’t new to the watch business
It became clear, however, that Chopin is something totally different from Błonie. While Błonie concentrates mainly on being a Polish brand, supplying watches for a larger audience, Chopin is aimed at watch aficionados loving highly exclusive pieces.
After obtaining an exclusive license from the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, and to ensure the exclusivity of the first Chopin watch, Mr. Dunin and his team sought contact with two of Swiss watch industry major players. For the aesthetic and technical design Antoine Tschumi, founder of Swiss design studio NeoDesis, was consulted. Further, after visiting one of the watch industry fairs, Michal Dunin became enthusiastic about the work and products he saw from Schwarz-Etienne. While Antoine Tschumi and Mauro Egermini of Schwarz-Etienne had been working together before, the choice for them as a manufacturing partner became obvious.
Schwarz Etienne is an over 100-year-old family-owned Swiss watch manufacturing company with a reputation of being one of the very best in the watchmaking industry. As Chopin’s partner, Schwarz Etienne is responsible for the manufacturing and quality control of their watches.
Fascinated with Chopin’s rich heritage, the creators behind the newly-established brand made it their mission to combine the great composer’s timeless legacy with contemporary watchmaking and sophisticated design. The motif of the Chopin brand’s first model is Étude in C minor Op. 10 No. 12, otherwise known as Chopin’s Revolutionary Étude. And thus, the full model indication for the brand’s first watch became ‘Chopin Op. 10 No. 12’.
“Fryderyk Chopin’s work is one of the greatest treasures of Polish culture. For us, this watch, dedicated to one of the most world-renowned artists, is a source of great pride. In a way, creating this timepiece was a nostalgic journey to the present. The exclusive Chopin Op. 10 No. 12, with production limited to just 56 pieces per year, represents the very essence of elegance. We believe that our watch will appeal to true art connoisseurs and those with a special place in their heart for classical music both in Poland and abroad” – said Michał Dunin, CEO of Błonie and the Chopin brand.
Mr. Dunin already shows a glimpse of the watch. A full review, however, with live pictures and price information will follow shortly here on Fratello. Stay tuned.
Gerard has been in the watch industry for over two decades now. He owned a watch shop in The Hague, The Netherlands, and besides that he has journalistic and photographic activities in the field of watches. Collecting watches since he... read more