I just had lunch in Geneva two days ago with Mark Schwarz, founder of Vault Swiss and creator and designer of the new V1.
The watch is nothing like you have ever seen, I promise you that much for starters.
Mark posted his story on facebook today which I would like to share with you to begin this blog contribution:
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
As the official launch of our first watch the V1 approached ever nearer, I frequently pondered the personal qualities required to found a successful company. Do successful entrepreneurs have to be brave, or, maybe, a bit crazy?
It’s true that in recent months, I have regularly been asked about where I found the courage to establish VAULT and to embark on a journey, with a completely uncertain destination. Such questions got me thinking about why I did what I did. Was I, indeed, brave or, more likely, was I just completely bonkers?
I can well imagine that most people, who take the path that I have chosen, will experience conflicting internal voices. On many occasions, during the past months, I’ve been conscious of an anxious me, who would say in a nervous voice, “This is crazy!! You’re throwing away a great career in an outstanding company. And for what? To go off the beaten track, by creating your own company which may not even survive longer than a few years.”
When I first heard this voice, I knew immediately that this was the moment to pause, to take a deep breath and to try to analyse how we think about risk. Doing this, helped me to understand why, in periods of great uncertainty, such a doubting and nervous ‘voice’ is so common.
It seems to me that since humans first developed, they have worried about what the future might hold for them. Even today, the desire to predict the future and, therefore, to benefit from having this foreknowledge, remains widespread. In order to recognize this, one needs only note the huge efforts constantly being put into the development of technology to achieve this goal.
I do wonder, however, whether or not many of these endeavours have the same, fundamental flaw – they are based on data from the past. We persist in trying to predict the future, on the basis of history – what has happened in the past. In my view, this is a very difficult trick to pull off successfully.
For example, I can easily imagine how the technical guys at Nokia fell into this very trap, as they laughed at their first sight of the iPhone. At that time, there was absolutely no evidence to support the prediction that people would take so readily to typing on a non-existent ‘keyboard.’ Of course, like many people, I miss elements of the past, such as the slowly dying breed of naturally aspirated engines in sports cars, or manual transmissions. But I also embrace the future, with all its uncertainty.
Basing our beliefs about the future, solely on the past is also the reason why, initially, quitting a well-paid job, with great career opportunities and pension security, sounds like a very bad idea. Such a judgement makes the fundamental mistake of projecting the past onto the ‘virtual screen’ of our future.
In saying this, I do not wish to be misunderstood. The past and the present both exercise a significant impact on the future. Consider how an earthquake happening now will send shockwaves through the water, which will inevitably have an impact in the immediate future. But this is exactly the point: current action can and does cause a future reaction.
So, I would like to answer the question, which I set myself, in the following way. In our daily lives, we are all travelling on our unique life journey, which has a more or less uncertain outcome. But we must surely avoid clinging to the past, as a kind of comfort blanket, no matter how reassuring that might feel. I prefer to believe that, by our actions, each and every one of us has the possibility to influence our future and, therefore, the future.
So, perhaps Abraham Lincoln knew something about the perspective required to be a successful entrepreneur, when he said: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
Here’s to getting on with creating our future!
I have accompanied Mark for about a full year on his quest to finally finish this watch. He has spent the last 4.5 years to design, develop and create this watch. His challenge, as he is not a watchmaker, was to find the right “watchmaker”. And, he found one, not only one, but THE one, the most talented watchmaker around in Switzerland: Andreas Strehler. Together with him, this watch finally found its way into real life and here it finally is. It was presented at the “Night before” event in London a day before SalonQP.
The V1 is a unique construction. The movement is directly attached to the dial. So the movement moves together with the dial. I know, this is complicated to understand and to explain. When you turn the crown, the whole dial and movement move around. The time is shown where the dark area frees the hour indication. The look of the watch at any given time will never be the same on another piece. It will always be different. So in that sense, this is a quite playful timepiece. Not only that. The time is indicated in a unique fashion, however, the whole setup of the movement and dial and how it is all connected is a first. It took years for Andreas Strehler to develop this. And those in the know of Swiss watchmaking know what he is capable of. He has designed many exceptional movements and watches for many famous watchmanufactures including Moser & Cie. et al..
The essence of this timepiece is that it is not about indicating time, but time itself.
While attending SalonQP, I shot a few pictures realizing that the domed sapphire crystal was extremely challenging me. I will meet with Mark again soon to take some nicer photos in a photobox with good light conditions.
Mark showed me another piece with an open caseback, unfortunately, I do not have a picture of it.
Production of this timepiece has just started and first deliveries to preorders is scheduled around Baselworld 2018. Mark told me that the first piece to be delivered will be a rosegold V1. Sofar, he only showed me the steel and titanium V1.
Mark showed me two different variations of case polishing, one was matte, the other was high gloss. So there will be different options for interested customers.
I would like to share a short video I took of this watch:
In addition, here you find a video showing the watch “in action”:
I have tried to give a real life impression of an absolutely amazing and unique watch. A watch I could never even have imagined the way it works.
More information about this watch can be found at their homepage.