Geneva-based Pragma is the brainchild of Christopher Wegener and Kai-Hsuan Liu. Wegener has 21 years of experience history in watchmaking; he worked for Rolex and F.P.Journe, for instance. Liu is the brand’s Creative Design Director. He has a background at Hermès and a studio of his own, and his forté is fusing natural and technological elements. Do both founders’ expertise and talents come to light in the Pragma P1 — Perseverance, a collection consisting of four watches? One thing’s for sure: they’re very ambitious. Pragma exceeds the standards for “Swiss Made” certification with watches 100% manufactured in Switzerland from 82.7% recycled materials. And since Pragma preaches full transparency, the brand gives full disclosure regarding the origin of the materials, the manufacturing processes, and the suppliers used to create the brand’s debut collection.

Christopher Wegener and Kai-Hsuan Liu didn’t exactly make it easy for themselves when they set out to create a brand that merges luxury with sustainability and transparency. With Pragma, they want to push the boundaries of the Swiss watch industry in terms of sustainability and respect for the environment. By the way, according to the ancient Greeks, pragma is a mature, realistic love. It’s not a fleeting, love-at-first-sight kind of thing but the type of enduring love you often see in couples who have been together for a long time. I don’t know how long Wegener and Liu have worked together, but factors like realism, perseverance, and longevity are important if a watch brand wants to thrive. So, how do the vision and ambition materialize? Do the watches look authentic, another pillar of the brand’s philosophy?

Pragma P1 — Perseverance


The four versions of the Pragma P1 — Perseverance

Wegener and Liu state that there are (or were) zero high-luxury watches above the CHF 5,000 mark with a clear and fully integrated sustainability process and philosophy. Now there are four, a quartet of Pragma P1 — Perseverance watches, with three in steel and one in gold. The price of the three steel versions — the purple-dial P1-St-CH00 (limited to 16 pieces), the silver-dial P1-St-CH01, and the anthracite-dial P1-St-CH02 — is CHF 24,900 without VAT. The gold P1-Au-CH01, a special edition of 12 pieces, has a price of CHF 50,000 excluding tax. Just so you know, when you decide to go for the gold, you also get 1% ownership of the company but only during the launch.

Pragma P1


Design inspiration for the Pragma P1 — Perseverance came from Switzerland’s precise architectural principles that are famous worldwide. Liu’s admiration for architects like Markli, Botta, and Zumthor shows itself in the design of these watches that blend form and function.

The angular and geometrical design language doesn’t stand in the way of giving the watch sleek contours. While the detailed and complicated case might be inspired by enduring Swiss engineering feats like bridges, tunnels, and considerably sized dams, the result measures an introverted and slender 39mm wide and 10.4mm thick.


P1-St-CH00 LE

Full disclosure

Transparency is a thing. People want to know how stuff is made, sometimes in great detail. Well, Pragma gives you all the details. Pragma believes that transparency is essential to maintaining integrity and inspiring trust in its customers. It all starts with 100% recycled solar steel from Panatere. The steel is created in the two solar furnaces at Panatere’s La Chaux-de-Fonds production facility. The steel is used for the cases and pin buckles that were developed in collaboration with Voutilainen & Cattin. Comblémine crafts the detailed and graphical brass CuZn28 dials with applied gold indexes. The design of these two-part indexes matches not only the industrial-looking hands very well but also the original sub-seconds register at 6 o’clock and the date indicator at 12; the design consistency is on point. Last but not least, Atelier du Bracelet provides the Cordura re/cor 100% recycled straps.

Pragma P1

The watch’s case is water resistant to 5 bar and features scratch-resistant sapphire crystals on the front and back. Inside it is a movement developed in collaboration with Chronode. This chronometer-precise caliber boasts 100% recycled Grade 5 titanium bridges and plates. The balance comes from either Atokalpa or Nivarox, while Crelier makes the jewels.



Final thoughts on the Pragma P1 — Perseverance

My first impression of the Pragma P1 — Perseverance is positive. Yes, the watches are priced out of reach for many. However, given the depth of the brand’s research in every field, a thorough investigation must have resulted in spotting an affluent audience. It must be a group of people who value the combination of eco-conscious materials and rich Swiss watchmaking tradition while also appreciating a modernistic design language that dares to tell a watch story differently.

It sure will be interesting to find out how the watch looks, feels, and wears in real life. The multi-piece case looks very intriguing. It will require the highest level of finishing to feel smooth and luxurious, that’s for sure. For now, we’ll have to make do with these renders, which look quite promising. The concept is solid, and the design is most definitely moving forward instead of looking over its shoulder for guidance. Again, we must see this watch in the recycled metal before we can pass our final judgment.

The Pragma P1 — Perseverance watches are only available online. The brand strives to open its first brand boutique in Geneva within the next three years. Before that, the idea is to unveil a watch made from 90–95% recycled materials by 2026. Also on the timeline is a plan to set up a research program with a local university for the development of innovative materials and their production. If Pragma is indeed a mature, realistic love affair in watch form, the brand’s big ambitions might very well not be a fata morgana.