How one guy created his own luxury watchmaking company


Industry: high-end watchmaking

Location: San Francisco, California

Related to: luxury

Reviewer: Massimo Vito Domenico Mastrorocco, Parsons School of Design

Company: Barrelhand Timepieces



On the scene of young and independent watchmakers, I was glad to discover an interesting story standing for its passion and dedication to engineering research and new designs. This is the case of Barrelhand Timepieces and more specifically the 14th iteration of its flagship piece, Project 1.

The main proposition of the team was to project and develop a watch provided with unusual time reading complications. And here lays the first innovation. By adopting the latest techniques in three-dimensional printing, in fact, Barrelhand has been able to relevantly cut the traditional costs for research and development. For the last four years, the team has been documenting the entire process it went through, from the initial sketches to the prototyping and manufacturing stages.

The second innovation is enclosed into the case of the watch. The movement of Project 1 has been developed in-house, in San Francisco, California, and is equipped with a 12-point Geneva jump hour and a linear cam path minute system. For the design of this timepiece, the young founder, Karel Bachand, was directly inspired by the work of the luxury watchmaker Urwerk. In his opinion, the brand stands as an exceptional example of seamless mesh of engineering and art. Which is “the holy grail of watchmaking”, he says.

Karel Bachand plans to launch the first actual full-metal product in summer 2017 and will be available in 100 examples. And, as great luxury watches enthusiast, I cannot that wish Karel this to be just the beginning of an enduring and successful career, to proof that luxury horology is not at all a fading market. We will definitely stay tuned!