Find a Swiss Replica Watch Company Town


Ever wonder why some watch companies have the word “Fleurier” attached to their names?

Just as the Vallée de Joux has been known as the birthplace of Swiss replica watchmaking, for centuries Fleurier, the village of flowers, has been the center for the decorative crafts of engraving, enameling and gem-setting that turn watches into works of art.

The town even has its own style of engraving, called fleurisanne, developed by Bovet in the 1800s, which uses distinctive swirls to convey the way the poppies in the fields bordering the river valley dance in the wind.

A visitor today to this small community of about 3,500 residents will find among the neat stucco houses and eccentric street art some obvious indications of its watchmaking attachment. One square is named the Place de la Horlogerie; a blue-and-white street sign announces the Rue de l’École d’Horlogerie, even though the school closed in the 1970s.

And the names Parmigiani, Bovet, Vaucher and Chopard are often heard — in stories of the town’s past, the brands’ own tangled history in watchmaking and, today, as the employers of a third of the town’s population.

Fleurier is, indeed, a company town. Book a table for lunch at the Restaurant Les Six-Communes in Môtiers, the hamlet just a mile or so from Fleurier. Dining on local char in absinthe sauce are the movers and shakers of the area’s industry: executives from Bovet, Parmigiani and Chopard; a fellow who makes watchbands; an engraver, and Fleurier’s mayor, all table-hopping and greeting one another with enthusiasm. The president of one watch brand may have a child working at the competition, and probably worked there himself at one time. It’s all in the (business) family.

Unlike the techniques in the Vallée, where farmers spent the winter months making replica watches, the artistry of Fleurier had a different genesis: the Huguenots. In the 16th century, persecution in Catholic France drove Protestants to Geneva, where they specialized in decorative arts. But a hundred years later the Reformation forced them to look for yet another refuge, and they went to Fleurier, about 50 miles away, where many of the townspeople already were stonecutters, masons and carpenters.

David-Jean-Jacques-Henri Vaucher is called Fleurier’s first watchmaker, having set up shop in 1730. By 1750, the town had 459 residents, 103 of whom were Vauchers, and many were involved in various aspects of replica watchmaking.

In the early 1800s Édouard Bovet and his brothers were running an import-export business between Fleurier and Guangzhou, China, then known as Canton. Aware of the popularity of embellished pocket replica watches uk, he started Bovet Fleurier in 1822 to produce them.

By The New York Times

He was not alone. “By 1860 there were 600 watchmakers and more than 40 families in Fleurier making replica watches for the Chinese,” said Michel Parmigiani, the founder and owner of the watch company Parmigiani Fleurier. “The town had the largest concentration of millionaires in Switzerland.”

By the 1970s, things had changed. The arrival of the quartz watch was so catastrophic that local people still refer to it simply as The Crisis. Factories closed, residents moved, businesses shuttered.

“People laughed at me back then when I said I wanted to be a watchmaker,” said Benoît Conrath, now 53 and working at Parmigiani. “Back then, to be a watchmaker was to be unemployed. No one wanted mechanical rolex replica watches. It was like using a horse and cart to travel.”

It was Mr. Parmigiani who came to the rescue. He had grown up in a neighboring village, graduated from Fleurier’s watch school and had his own workshop specializing in restoration. (He briefly owned Bovet, in 1989-1990.) Then in 1996, bucking the quartz trend, he decided to make his own watches, and to do so in Fleurier.

Parmigiani Fleurier was established with headquarters in a mansion formerly owned by the Vaucher family. Vaucher, which now makes watch components, began making parts for the new company. That same year, Mr. Parmigiani persuaded Chopard to base its watchmaking in Fleurier. The town’s revival had begun.

“People would stop him on the street and thank him,” recalled Mr. Parmigiani’s daughter, Anne-Laure.

Then, Mr. Conrath said, a backlash began against quartz watches. “In the 1990s people realized that a watch was not just an instant instrument, but a luxury product,” he said. “German and Italian journalists realized how beautiful a mechanical watch is and started writing about them.

“They saved the watchmaking industry in Switzerland,” Mr. Conrath continued. “The watchmaking school in La Chaux-de-Fonds, which was in danger of closing, is now turning away students.”

In addition to scores of independent specialists, working on their own or under contract to the larger local companies, Fleurier also has its own watchmaking quality control center. It was founded in 2004 by the four local companies to establish standards and to certify watch quality, and it operates in Bovet’s former mansion. The building, which locals once called the “Chinese palace,” also served as Fleurier’s town hall for a time.

The Bovet Fleurier Amadeo has its movement and case engraved in the Fleurisanne style, developed by Bovet in the 1800s and inspired by the town’s flowers.

Bovet Fleurier, now owned by Pascal Raffy, has headquarters in a 14th-century castle on a mountainside in Môtiers, just past a little museum chronicling the birth of absinthe.

The antique Chinese cabinet just inside the entrance is a nod to the company’s heritage. And in the work area, a wall of windows provides a sweeping view of the Val-de-Travers, location of the villages of Môtiers and Fleurier.

During a visit, a young artisan sitting near the windows demonstrated how to engrave a watch case with fleurisanne. He used a drypoint chisel to etch the design on the case’s curved surface and then deepened the lines with a series of chisels with different tips. With the aid of a microscope that enlarged the pattern 25 times its actual size, he then tapped the end of another drypoint chisel with a tiny hammer, covering parts of the surface with dots so minuscule that to the naked eye, they could not be distinguished individually.

The workman then used an onglette, a larger chisel slender as a blade of grass, to demonstrate the bris de verre technique, covering a surface with tiny prism-shaped triangles to catch and reflect light. To show just how effective the decorative technique is, he placed a bezel covered with bris de verre next to a real diamond, and it was easy to see that the bezel had a brighter sparkle.

Such work has always been prized, but, as Anne Walther, Chopard’s heritage manager, explained, “When mechanical watches started being popular again, watch brands went back to their roots.

“Engraving, enameling, bezeling, all done by hand, have come back,” she continued. “Now customers understand that the more people give their touch to the watch, the more it gains in value.”

Such watchmaking was in Ms. Parmigiani’s blood. She grew up in Fleurier during the difficult ’70s, then went to school in Neuchâtel to study engraving and watchmaking before joining her father’s company. She lives in the town today. “Fleurier is a fake watchmaking village once again,” she said. “Most of my friends work in the watch industry. We’re always chatting about swiss replica watches.”

And there are several new businesses to serve them, like La Cabane du Hibou, with its stock of 2,000 toys; the restaurants Bouchon Gourmand and l’Arrosée feature fresh seasonal fare. And the Celle à Guilloud, a shop for absinthe, opened recently, too.

“People like to live where they work,” she continued, “and when you have children it’s very easy to live in a little village like Fleurier, where everything is close and everyone knows each other.”

A brief history of Rolex Watches

Rolex is one of the most famous names in The company’s iconic crown logo enjoys ubiquitous brand awareness. The Genevan maison can trace its routes back to 1905, when Hans Wilsdorf established a company in London, distributing timepieces.

Rolex is the leading name in luxury watches for over a century. With headquarters based in Geneva Switzerland, Rolex prides itself with its distribution in over 100 countries.

Having always been a brand associated with sporting excellence – the credentials of these achievements began in 1927 when Mercedes Gleitze swam across the channel. Rolex today is a supporter and partner of top sporting and cultural events across the world.

Goldsmiths has unrivalled distribution of Rolex stock in the UK and whilst not available online we have a number of stockists throughout the UK. To find your nearest stockist please click on the Rolex image above.


Rolex replicaIn 1998 I purchased my first quality wristwatch, a Rolex Replica Submariner Date (reference 116610) in stainless steel with a black dial and corresponding black bezel.The watch cost £2120 and was purchased from Mappin & Webb, Manchester. I felt at the time, the purchase was the culmination of my professional achievement and a worthy reward for my efforts.The Submariner provided faithful service for many years without mishap or protest, reliably performing its duties.

In 2009, I saw the new Oyster Perpetual Rolex Replica Deepsea (model 116660) with a resplendent ceramic bezel. The seduction was instant and I had to have it!In the heat of the horological passion that ensued, I foolishly tried to mitigate my financial exposure and decided that I should part with my beloved, faithful Submariner Date. My rationale at the time was that it was aesthetically similar to the Deepsea.

This decision making process was flawed as I later learnt. To part with any Rolex Replica sports model of yesteryear is foolhardy as values seem only to increase with time. This poor decision was further compounded by other collectors informing me of my mistake.

Background to my purchase

I purchased the Oyster Perpetual Rolex Replica Deepsea in 2009 from an authorised Rolex Replica retailer in North West England for the list price at the time of £5,760 including VAT.The Submariner is an icon that has always seemed applicable to the era it finds itself in. Whilst fashion has rendered other watches old-fashioned or sometimes kitsch, the Submariner has a timeless quality like the Porsche 911 or the Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 Fountain Pen.The Deepsea at first glance looks like a larger cased version of the Submariner, however, closer examination reveals subtle differences which delight me.

The case

The case is 44mm in diameter in contrast to the smaller Submariner (40mm), suiting my large physical frame.Rolex Replica manufactures the case from a high grade of stainless steel, 904L, typically reserved for the chemical industry where corrosion resistance is critical.The Oyster case is unique to Rolex Replica and in combination with a “Triplock winding-crown”, is legendary for its ability to prevent ingress of water and dust.

When diving at great depths, divers will acclimatise within a diving bell to increase their tolerance to the pressures at the working depth.On returning to the surface, great pressure within the watch case could result in the watch glass popping out as the pressure returns to atmospheric levels, hence a helium valve is fitted to release the pressure and prevent damage.

The combination of the Oyster case (with patented Ringlock system) and helium valve ensure the watch is waterproof to 3,900 metres (12,800 feet).“Shoulders” adjacent to the crown provide it with protection from impact.The bezel is ceramic, a new development for Rolex Replica in 2009, it has subsequently been adopted on the Submariner in 2010 too. The ceramic disc within the bezel is referred to by Rolex Replica as “Cerachrom”. This material provides great legibility and the unidirectional bezel adjusts (turning counter-clockwise only).The upper surfaces are brushed stainless steel whilst the sides are highly polished stainless steel. The case back is made of titanium alloy.

The movement

The Chronometer has COSC certification and the dial confirms this with those lovely words; “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified”.The automatic movement has proved equally accurate when compared with my faithful Submariner.The date changes precisely at midnight unlike some other brands where the date change process is more protracted.

The dial

The dial shares its appearance with the classic Submariner with a black dial and contrasting white text and indices. The bezel too is black with similar contrasting white detail.
The Deepsea has additional text on the circumference of the dial stating “Original Gas Escape Valve” (at the top of the dial) and “Ring Lock System” (at the base of the dial). This is a major area of differentiation with the Submariner model.

The Deepsea does not have the “Cyclops” above the date but the date is still easily read.The luminous indices, hands and zero marker on the bezel, glow a wondrous aquamarine colour as the ambient light diminishes into darkness.

The bracelet

The bracelet features a stainless deployant but with the additional feature of a “Fliplock” which is an extension link that folds into the clasp, aiding divers who wish to wear the watch over a diving suit.

The level and ease of adjusting the bracelet is breathtaking, allowing the owner to size it perfectly for comfortable wearing on the wrist.

The “Glidelock” is a relatively recent invention by Rolex Replica which allows fine adjustment using a centre panel on the clasp in combination with small teeth.The bracelet looks even better than my old Submariner bracelet and that looked like new when we parted company after an 11 year relationship without a cross word.


Frank Sinatra famously sang “Regrets, I have a few”; and I share this sentiment when I think of my 1998 Submariner which I sold in haste and have regretted parting with since.To own both would have been an indulgence but a joy.

The Deepsea is a superb watch and a worthy purchase. I love the practical nature of the watch and the comfortable way it sits on my wrist.The ability to wear the watch in the most extreme environments is unlikely to ever be challenged by this wearer, but I admire the engineering integrity that is intrinsic to this watch.

The Deepsea is for keeps. No rash decisions will be made again. I have learnt my lesson. However, the happy ending that is Deepsea ownership, is to move from Sinatra’s “Regrets” to Piaf’s positive, “Non, je ne regrette rien”. No, I’m not sorry for anything.


Once you’ve purchased a Rolex replica watches, or any mechanical timepiece, have you thought about what the next steps are? Are there simple things that you can be doing to ensure the watch functions at its optimum level? We asked our in-house Rolex by The Watch Gallery watchmaker Jamie Hardes, who is based at the One Hyde Park boutique in London, to talk us through his key tips to looking after your Rolex…


Before you even leave the store, ensure your bracelet is fitted correctly. An automatic movement needs the motion of the wrist to work. If it’s hanging off the wrist, it won’t work properly.


After setting the time or changing the date, make sure the crown is screwed down securely. If it isn’t it can let in dust or water and potentially damage the movement.


If you’re swimming in the sea or pool on holiday, just remember to give your watch a quick rinse in cold water afterwards. Salt water or chlorine can be corrosive to a watch long term. Also, don’t forget to keep the crown screwed down tightly to keep it waterproof.


When laying down your replica watches after taking it off, remember to lay it down crown first. This ensures that the least amount of watch is touching the surface at any time. It also prevents the polished case from being scratched.


Rolex replica watches recommends you have your watch professionally serviced every 3-5 years, to ensure it continues to work effectively. During a servicing, the watchmaker will lubricate the movement and change the seels to ensure the timepiece stays waterproof.



Emily Seares is online editor of The Watch Gallery magazine and a freelance journalist. She regularly writes for leading international publications, specialising in luxury and fashion. You can follow Emily on Google+ and Twitter. Read more articles by Emily Seares.

Omega Speedy Tuesday – Replica Watches 2015-2016 Selects Speedmaster Professional As “Stars For a Lifetime” Winner

Speedmaster3570502-700x400After a long selection process in several categories, the Replica Watches 2015-2016 winners have just been announced. In the category “Stars for a Lifetime”, the jury selected the Omega Speedmaster Professional ‘Moonwatch’ as the winner amongst 10 watches on the shortlist, from A. Lange & Söhne to Zenith.

The Replica Watches, an initiative from Ebner and with over 60 jury members from the industry is the only watch award that is independent as it drives on media partnerships, not on watch brands. The Replica Watches consists of 5 categories (Classic Stars, Technical Stars, Design Stars, Stars for a Lifetime, New Stars). Omega won in another category (Classic Stars) with their Globemaster model that came out this year (we did a hands-on in-depth review of the Globemaster here). Other than the name ‘Classic Stars’ implies, it is the category for three-handed watches with no functions other than a date and/or power reserve indicator. All watches in the Classic Stars category must have mechanical movements and launched in 2015.

SP_Moonwatch_Prof_31130423001005_vueC_1600x900However, we focus on the “Stars for a Lifetime”-winner, the Replica Omega Speedmaster Professional. In this category, watches could be entered by the jury that could be described as timeless classics whose design and/or technical features give them an appeal that will last for decades. All watches were eligible regardless of when they were introduced.

Well, with an initial introduction of 1957 for the original Speedmaster, you could say it is one of the few timeless classics of that era that is still around and have been around non-stop. This watch doesn’t need much introduction, especially if you are a regular reader of our Speedy Tuesday feature, you (probably) know more about it then most of the Watchstars jury members. So to us fans, it is only logical that the watch won this award although last year’s (the first year of the Replica Watches) winner, the Royal Oak ‘Extra-Thin’ reference 15202, is definitely a Star for a Lifetime as well.

SP_Moonwatch_Prof_31130423001005_fuite_1600x900In the initial 44 models that were entered by the jury members for this category, the Omega Speedmaster First Omega in Space and White Side of the Moon (we did a hands-on review of the WSotM here) were also selected. I don’t get the White Side of the Moon nomination to be honest, with the other Dark Sides of the Moon models available as well. Perhaps I even don’t get the First Omega in Space nomination, as the classic model is clearly the regular Speedmaster Professional ‘Moonwatch’. Well, perhaps that is just ‘noise’ as anything could be entered by the jury members for the initial long list. Luckily, on the shortlist of 10 watches, the regular Speedmaster Professional ‘Moonwatch’ was selected.

I noticed some other odd choices on the list of the nominees in this category (click here), but that got straightened out in the shortlist (click here). I guess it has something to do with the diversity of jury members.

Replica Watches 2015-2016 is, as we are closing in on the end of this year, another proof that this was definitely the year of the Speedmaster for many collectors and enthusiasts. The other BIG thing will happen today, in New York City, where Christie’s will host the Speedmaster 50 auction that we discussed already in-depth (here and here). If all goes well, we will have some more “live” coverage about that auction later on. The demand for this watch (new and vintage) has grown quite a bit in recent years and I wouldn’t be surprised if prices for various Speedmaster models will sky-rocket in the months to come.