Whether you’ve heard of them or not, Horage is a Biel/Bienne-based watch brand that’s been gaining momentum since being founded in 2009.
In that time, they’ve not only launched an entire Swiss watch brand, but also a movement division at their sister engineering firm THE+, and a third division, called BrandCloud, which makes an innovative connected commerce retailing solution that aside from real-time global inventory access enables all connected parties to reduce risk over traditional wholesaling models through holistic profit sharing, all in-app.
Not unlike ETA, Sellita, La Joux Perret, or Vaucher — THE+ is a full-fledged movement manufacturer and is increasingly gaining interest due to their unique take on partner involvement in movement development. Where they differ from the aforementioned groups is in their approach and what they call “hosted manufacturing.” THE+ provides clients with not just movements but acts as a brand partner’s extended engineering and production wing. This approach enables partners to access Horage’s highly knowledgeable engineering and development team. Over time a brand can incrementally move in-house with movement development. The ultimate goal is for watch brands to become self-sufficient and secure their own IP through Horage and THE+ support, which according to Horage is unique within the industry.
Horage, in a way, is a proof of concept for the company’s movement making division, and during a recent phone call with the Marketing Director, Landon Stirling, he explained to Professional Watches “Whereas many others allocate marketing budgets first and then look for 3rd party movement solutions, we have done the opposite and have invested in securing our position as an independent movement maker. Over $12 million invested in movement development since 2009 has resulted in industrial level reliability, packaged in decorative manufacture modular movements that reach COSC level accuracy. Our community is incredibly supportive, and this creates positive word of mouth amongst enthusiasts that desire a better product at a fair price. Many are only discovering us now because for the better part of 12 years our investments have been in innovation over hype.”
So far, Horage has engineered three movements, from the ground up. The K1 automatic is Horage’s first and is a modular movement with 5 core functions of small or big seconds, power reserve indicator, calendar, or big date. The latest development is the K2 micro-rotor which comes in 3 base profiles 2.9 mm, 3.3 mm, and 3.6 mm. The K2 delivers small or big seconds, calendar, big date, power reserve indicator as well as 12 or 24 hour GMT; in total 38 variations can be achieved. Both K1 and K2 utilize Horage’s in-house silicon escapement systems and deliver over 65 hours of power reserve, and both can be chronometer certified.
Most recently Horage started shipping their in-house Tourbillon 1 which delivers over 5 days (120 hours) of power reserve from a single barrel, inclusive of a silicon escapement. With 160 configurations to choose from the Tourbillon 1, you have a choice of 904L stainless steel or you can upgrade to 18K solid gold, 5 different movement colors are available and an array of Swiss handmade leather straps to choose from. The icing on the cake is that it’s the best-priced Swiss Made Tourbillon starting at just CHF 7,490 Swiss francs or around $8,000. That’s incredible considering even TAG Heuer’s accessible Tourbillon is double the price at $15,950. I remember not that long ago, pretty much any tourbillon made had a six-figure price tag on it.
Horage has had a mysterious presence for the last decade, where we would hear about them, mostly by word of mouth. Similarly, not a lot has been published about them, although that has been more by design than anything else. That’s starting to change as they expand with their third movement — a flying tourbillon no less — as well as offering innovative retail software and hosted movement manufacturing.
Photos by Horage.