Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S02 ep7 : Jorg Hysek, Hysek Watches, [Switzerland]
Interview with Jorg Hysek
This concept, a trinity of three talented artists Jorg Hysek, Valérie Ursenbacher and Fabrice Gonet working together in total harmony for many years, evolves continuously and never ceases to strive for new heights of excellence. The subtle bond between fine watchmaking and high tech gives a new direction to 21st century watches, marvels of design and resolutely oriented towards the future.
JH: HD3 is a means high definition trilogy. There are three designers and that’s what the start of
JH: Now it’s time to do really what you want to do, make the watch what you think is a pleasure
for you and then was the beginning and we say okay this is a good idea and you don’t know at that
time whether you’ll be successful or not and it was not the most important thing, the most
important was really first to make the drawing and then we show the drawing to different people
and then all the people was ready, so surprised and very happy with the drawings and then was just
starting like that.
JH: I am in the design business over 30 years now. I have made designs for many brands and then I
make my own brand when we are starting with the pen and then after that we do watches. After
four or five years they need a lot of money for the advertising the communication and all that, and
then I take a partner in my company and then was a little bit for a designer another direction, was a
very come more and more commercial direction you have to make a choice and a designer is
really first to make your pleasure and to have the feeling that you make progress in your design
field if you not only with the money, the money is one thing but the design field is a field is
something what is very important for me and that’s why I decide to sell to my partner and to start
another thing what is really I hope will be stay, small, small quantities of production and always I
hope new ideas and crazy things.
JH: When I was young I loved to paint you know, permanent paintings and then make also
sculpture and the idea when I was in the arts school was to mix the painting with sculpture and
then I was you know I was 17, 18 years old you are completely dreamer in that time but you are a
fanatic and you want to do crazy things and then when I was 25 my father said now it’s time for
you to make your own money, to make your own money in the full artistic world is very hard and
my patience for the design was also in the 1970 starting the design comes more and more
JH: The name is, it comes from Czechoslovakia but I was born in Germany and then we come with
the family, I was seven years old, to Switzerland like political refugee and I go back to make my,
the arts school in Germany. In Germany and in London. With my grandfather he was a shoemaker
JH: The next step was, there was a strange step because the idea was to make just a little bit of
drawings for a short period of time to make a little bit of money and to go to an arts school in Italy
in Rome and then I say okay you are in Switzerland, you have a little bit of talent to make
drawings, then I make drawings of different watches and then I go from company to company to
show the drawings and that was not so successful but was not so bad and I start to have pleasure in
that work to the designing watches and then I start, I offer my work by Rolex and I was so
surprised and they take me for make design there.
JH: I learned a lot there because I had no stress, I had absolutely no pressure they don’t really need
design on that time, but they need to have, and it’s a good philosophy, they need to have designers
there to bring out new things, also even you don’t need it but for me where after three years
coming to be very frustrating you know when you make drawings, drawings and then when you are
young designer the most busy is when you see one product finally coming out and then after three
years I decide to be a freelance.
JH: All the watch industry was different on that time because the watch industry was many, many
different brands and always the owner was on the brand. Then you can just call the brand and then
80% of the time you have just the owner on the phone you know and I say okay I’m a young
designer, I make some sketches I want to make the presentation, okay come tomorrow like was
easy like that and then you sell the drawings and that was the beginning and we are, when I started
there was not so many design, watch designers in that time in Switzerland and I wait, all the people
say okay you are successful of course, but the three first years are
JH: The watch industry especially in Switzerland it’s so concentrated and when you have a little
bit relation there it comes very fast that you have more and more relation and I have so many a lot
of work in that business than I never really have time to spend in other things I tried to make shares
in Italy but you don’t have the relation and then the business was much harder.
JH: The pleasure of a designer is to be different and that is the satisfaction the first is when you
bring out something and you are surprising really the people. Then the commercial success is
another, is another part, of course when it’s successful loads on the same time make you happy too
but the first thing is really you want to shock the people a little bit, but with something what has I
will say a reason to be there and when you see that the evolution make that after three years, four
years the people understand the product, then you really have the feeling that you are in avant
JH: To my first watch was under the brand Lascelles but there was only by Seiko in that time I
remember of course the thinnest watches in the world was crazy, was no space to do something and
also the crown, it was so small you have a very, but many people ask me sometimes they say do
you think this will be coming back, I don’t know, I don’t think so.
JH: Now you have two ways, you can say you go in one direction you try to be more and more
crazy in the electric and the system to showing time, but also you can coming back and to make
something very simple but they must be different you know, just be very simple to come back like
watches like 10 years ago it’s not it is not so easy and also to mix the electronic I like very much to
imagine to mix the electronic with the mechanical parts. The difficulty there is that for a small
company you can have the drawings and the crazy ideas but to make the realisation is very
expensive because the electronic parts to make development in that area it’s but they’re coming.
JH: The pleasure to spend a lot of time of so small parts, to insist for a 0.05mm in the ___ feel
personally that make a difference, it’s a little bit crazy and that is my world.
JH: All the ideas coming with the sketches, that is my education because I was learning, I was
starting with that and was with the sketches ___ he make a little bit sketch but he use much more
the computer than I because his education is already the relationship with the computer.
JH: With the sketch you can dream more. In your head it can change a lot, you have just an idea,
you make sketches and then the evolution comes slowly. With the computer you have to give them
always clear information and when you start to create something the dream is an important part of
the evolution of the product or the modification of the design is that dream, when you make that
sketch and then you look at it like that, your imagination start to working and to say it would be a
little bit better like that or something, when you do it with the computer you do you just can make
one line. And that is the sorry the last step because the last step you have to give the ___ for
measure because you have to go in production, but it’s important you give a big space of the dream
and that is the dream is the sketch.
JH: The first thing is really to surprise the people, I will say what I say before, it is a different thing
when you make a watch or you make a design what finally will be sold, or you make a painting,
it’s a big difference on a painting you don’t because you don’t want to finally to sell them or you
make a sculptures a relationship between you and the painting, you just do it for yourself, when
you do a watch and that is what you are trying now with HD3 to do it, a little bit for yourself that
you have just a good feeling but you can have only a good feeling when you can surprise the
JH: Of course it’s difficult to discuss about art because you have different position about art but I
personally think that approach more and more, because there is not the watches what it’s on the
market now you know limited edition what is really is an art thinking you do produce only certain
pieces or 20 pieces is an art thinking.
JH: A designer can be an artist. He need to have artistic talent, when he is a good designer. The
difficulty I will say the limit is when you work like a designer in the industry where you have clear
objectives mean you have to make a product what the production costs is not over 200 you use
your talent to go in an industrial product but the product is not an art product.
JH: I was last year in Geneva. One guy coming was an English guy and they’re looking oh, nice
watch everything and I tried to explain everything, the guy there knows everything about my story
from the beginning from ___ America and then he invite me to his house to, every product what I
design, he has one of them. Crazy, I never have heard from him, I am not so difficult to have
conduct with me, just give a call or something and then they show me all the collection that was
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Jorg Hysek, Hysek Watches, Switzerland