Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S04 ep20 : Marc Jenni, Jenni Watches, [Switzerland]

Interview with Marc Jenni

Growing up with his father operating a watch store in Zurich, himself being a second generation watchmaker, Marc Jenni did not want to become yet »another« by simply following in the footsteps of his ancestors. Finally, he gave watch making a try and began his watchmaker’s apprenticeship with Paul Gerber in Zurich. After completion he started to work for over 10 years for the American Jeweler Tiffany & Co. In 2008 Marc began with the design of a new watch construction and in 2010 the first « Prologue » watch was born.


Marc Jenni is a simple watchmaker who has a passion respecting tradition of watch making.

My dad was a watchmaker and a grandfather was a watch maker and I was not pushed to
become a watch maker. But, then I was discovering the advantages and the creativity you
actually could explore in this field, and this was actually the click which brought me to my first
watch experience when I was doing my apprenticeship with Mr. Paul Gerber. 15:24

I was confronted with architecture; I wanted to create something and when I was seeing that I
was capable do something from mind and to create something which I could touch. That was
me the reason why to do watch making. 15:48

When you are 15 years old in Switzerland, you have to decide whether to do a study or to do
an apprenticeship. When I was doing my very first week with an old watch maker, this watch
maker told me, Mark, if you after one week together with me you are still interested in watch
making, you will become a watch maker. I was doing one week with this old watch maker and
the passion was still there and the fact that I able to create a piece from heart, with my own
fingers. I could actually grab it. I found my profession; I was thinking this is exactly that I want.



Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

I was actually lucky, because Paul Gerber he takes watchmake’ apprentice and I was able to
make my apprenticeship with him, but then unparalleled I had to go, or I was able to go, to go
to watchmaking school in Solothurn at that time. The theory I was learning at the
watchmaking school in Solothurn and the practical approach, the practical knowledge I was
learning with Paul Gerber in Zurich. 17:06

I remember my dad when he was working in the ‘70s, ’80 that was a tough time, but then the
‘70s to the ‘80s there were many young people they were just turning their backs the watch
business saying I have no future in this field. So, when I was starting in early, mid ‘90s, it was
just picking up and there’s whole generation right now missing, like with good competencies
from the ‘80s, ‘70s, ‘80s, you know, to the beginning of the ‘90s. 17:46

My dad, I think he wanted something better for me. He’s a very good repair person; he can sell
well and has passion for all the vintage pieces right. This part of watch making does not fit me.
What I need is the creativity. But this creativity I found with what I’m doing right now - with
creating watches; and that’s the difference which actually led me to actually make an
apprenticeship; without this part, I most probably not in this business. 18:24


Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

I knew that if I want to come out on the market with and remain or stand or stay, with my own
brand I have to do something different than anyone else. So, with that in mind, I was actually
thinking about this ring which is spinning around my watch case and with which I can actually
operate different functions. And, when I was looking around and, you know, benchmarking
and I saw that there is nothing else out there. I thought well; give it a try because this is exactly
what makes me and my watch different from any other brand. 19:12

It goes all around the watch case, so it contains any kind of interactivity with the movement
inside, so I had to find out a way how I can manipulate the different functions. I have a little
push button at the 4 o’clock position and this one ring allows me to wind up my watch, to set
the date and to set the time. 19:42

I wanted to explore the world when I was 20 years old and Tiffany was at that moment
available and with some luck in your life of course, I was able to go for six months to New York.


Jewellery Theatre Elements

After six months I came back to the French part of Switzerland and I was actually helping to
construction of the platform, the watch platform for Tiffany. So, with this platform, I was
capable or able actually to work with product development, quality control, after sale service
and the whole technical construction around an international company. 20:35

Then at 30 years old, there was an incident that pushed me when the Swatch group approach
Tiffany to get to a strategic alliance and this was exactly actually pushing me to say either now
or never. And, I took the opportunity I went with my former boss Vincente Buffe’, who is now
my partner; we found Noble Time in 2008 and from this time I was working on the concept, the
new concept of the new watch. 21:16


Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

Of course, besides that I am working on repairs, watch repairs, I have to get my daily business
done right, and we do some private label at the same time. But, most important was to realize
my dreams. 21:39


OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Marc Jenni, Jenni Watches, Switzerland