It has been less than a year since Jurgen Werner brought German watch brand Hemess Glashütte to life, and already the company has its first Baselworld exhibition on its résumé.
The exuberant Werner has aimed high with the first Hemess watch collection, forging mechanical timepieces priced at EUR 2000-8000 from parts of vintage cars, planes and ships.
Hemess may be new, but the brand has respect for the historic world of horology that it hopes to enter. “Like nearly no other place on Earth, Glashütte stands for the fine art of watchmaking with over 160 years of tradition. We seek to breathe hitherto unknown vitality into the soul of Glashütte – with the bold thinking of innovative watchmakers and entrepreneurs,” the company states.
The key message presented at Baselworld was the way Hemess creates new watches from ancient machinary. “We melt down engine parts of well-established sports cars and give them new life in our watches. Or we use the rotor blades of planes that have traversed the Atlantic in stormy weather a dozen times – long before we were born. This is inspiring. This has vitality and characterises our approach – this is our vision of Glashütte,” Werner told WatchPro.
The Hemess Alpha Kapitän, for example, is a manual wind mechanical timepiece that houses a three-quarter plate cast from a melted-down ship’s propeller, and a teakwood dial from the deck of a ship.
The Alpha Co-Pilot uses the same movement, but its plate is forged from a melted-down airplane propeller.
Being only a year old has not stopped Hemess aiming for rapid expansion. It made its first public appearance at the Munich Time show in November last year, before heading to Baselworld.
The UK, and the London Watch Show in July, could be next, Werner suggests. “We are starting to look at appointing retailers around the world,” he told WatchPro. “The perfect retailer is a specialist in watches that carries other mid- to high-end brands,” he concluded.