Rich in contrast, the watches created by the Zeitdesigner play with existing archetypes by shedding new light on the familiar. The case is based on classic watch design and is shaped using complex faceting with clear lines to create a unique character. Both watch dials offer a new interpretation of classic display elements and call into question traditional perceptions.
Belchengruppe´s watches combine time with design. Unlike most watchmaking brands, they do not focus on the technological aspects of the movement, but on the benefit and use of time. By taking up archetypes and playing with them, the design creates an emotional connection to the owner. At first it seems familiar, at second it seems confusing, and at third it creates a wow-effect that allows a new perception of time.
The "120" dial separates the hour into three sections. It represents the relationship between the eponymous Belchen mountains and the times of day: morning, afternoon, and evening. Despite the precision, it represents a playful interpretation of what time actually means.
The "Visuren" dial is reminiscent of the sunbeams and the lines of sight found among the Belchen mountains. The break with conventional marking enables a new perception of time- a watch that combines precision and intuition.
The watches are available in three watch case finishes: brushed, bead blasted, and polished.
The brushed surface accentuates the clear lines of the case by contrasting them with a light-reflecting radiance. The bead-blasted case has a matt satin finish, which is smooth to the touch. The brilliantly polished case surface shines in the sunlight like a metal diamond.
Belchengruppe uses its own unique font. Belchen Grotesk is a functional but straightforward font rooted in Swiss typography. It is used on the dial, date ring, and back engravings, and also provides typographic consistency to the watch design.
The design of the brand is consistent: from the actual product, to the marketing materials and the brand name, everything focuses on time.
Belchengruppe combines the fascination for design with the feeling of time. The highly-precise Swiss movement at the core of the watches works to display the subjective nature of time. The technical accuracy of the mechanics is broken up by our design and allows the watches to embody the ambiguity of time: Past and future, speed and permanence, day and night. In the same way that the sunrise can be seen as more than simply the beginning of another day, our timepieces show more than merely the time. They make time tangible while consciously creating space for private rituals.
Belchengruppe was founded in Basel with the goal of bringing together the knowledge and innovative spirit of experts from the fields of design, construction, and watchmaking. The Zeitdesigner are a team of specialists eager to contribute their professional savoir-faire and conceptual insights.
Christoph Schnee is the founder and creative head at Belchengruppe and has a passion for design details. He has degrees in industrial design and cultural management and has worked for many years as a freelancer and employee in the fields of strategy, concepts, and communication.
Christoph Ruppli created the entire visual presence of Belchengruppe. He designed the company logo with the three Belchen mountains in addition to the "Visuren" dial series for the watches.
Jens Neuber designed the "120" dial and, together with Christoph Schnee, designed the cases for the watches. He has worked as a product designer, illustrator, storyboard artist, and also as a conceptual artist.
Lukas Schneider is a graphic designer and font designer and gave the finishing touches to the visual presence of Belchengruppe by designing the Belchen Grotesk font.
THE NAME BELCHENGRUPPE
The brand is named after the five Belchen mountains located in the area where the borders of Switzerland, Germany, and France meet. The mountains acted as an archaic sun calendar in the era before mechanical time measurement. The view of the sun rising over the other Belchen mountains from the top of the Alsace Belchen marks the start of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. The eponymous mountains represent the dual fascinations of the Belchengruppe: Fascination for both tradition and the archaic, but also a passion for high-tech and new approaches to design.