Montfort is the latest of Swiss challenger brands which has high ambitions to disrupt the current status quo by uniting a never seen before combination of value propositions the watchmaking industry:
1. Scratch resistant “Super Stainless Steel”
2. 3D printed stainless steel dials
3. Swiss made
4. Unbeatable value
The brand name is a tribute to the Mont-Fort Mountain in Verbier, Switzerland. Translated literally, it means ‘strong mountain’. The piste is renowned to be impossible to prepare mechanically due to its extreme gradient.
Philippe Kuratle, co-founder of Montfort Watches, was driven to start the company when he wasn’t able to find a modern, all-rounder watch that could be worn at all times and that can take the daily grind without the fear of scratching or damaging it.
Philippe’s brother Thomas is CEO of AIM SA – a company specializing in nitrocarburising technology that Montfort uses. He brings to the team years of experience in hardening watch parts. This technology apparently hardens stainless steel to a surface hardness of 1200HV. Diamond has a HV of 10,000 for comparison, while normal stainless steel varies between 140 – 200HV. So that’s scratch resistance covered.
The watches are designed by company co-founder Jeremie Senggen. He wanted to integrate his and Philippe’s common passion for mountains in his watch design. Inspired by the Swiss-alp mountain range, Jeremie designed a striking dial called ‘les massifs’, which closely resembles the mineral, crystalline structure of rocks, not dissimilar to the mineral structure observed after hardening of stainless steel. In order to produce the complicated‘ les massifs’ and Montfort’s reinterpretation of a watch industry classic the ‘Clous de Paris’ dials with apertures Montfort had to turn to 3D printing – the only technique that allowed them this creative freedom. AIM SA, MONTFORT’s technological partner worked with a Swedish company – Digi-tal Metal to develop this unique and game changing dial.
In over 3 centuries the Swiss watch industry has built a reputation for precision, quality and exclusivity. Montfort’s Swiss founders were adamant on making their watch ‘Swiss made. The lure of dropping the ‘Swiss made’ label for lower production costs was never an option.
The product brief for Montfort was to develop a timeless, automatic Swiss made watch integrating innovative technologies and impeccable quality for an unbeatable price. In order to do this Montfort spent a long time developing its supply chain, business model and distribution strategy. Among other strategies (yet to be revealed) Montfort will distribute directly through its website and partners allowing it to offer products at a fraction of the price of comparable competing brands.
The brand will make it all official with a launch party on 17 of November 2016, which will also launch their Kickstarter campaign.