Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S04 ep3 : Jonathan Parser, Cecil Purnell Watches, [Switzerland]

Interview with Jonathan Parser

In 1918, the company's founder and namesake, Cecil Purnell,[1] began his fascination with intricate mechanical horological mechanisms with the tourbillon of Abraham Louis Bréguet. His interest was transmitted to his grandson, Jonathan Purnell. In 2006, Jonathan Purnell formed an association with watch industry professional Stéphane Valsamides and together they launched Cecil Purnell SA in the Swiss Jura Mountains. After years of development, in 2009, Cecil Purnell launched its first caliber that was developed fully in-house, the CP3000, and transferred the company’s operations to Geneva, Switzerland. In 2010, Cecil Purnell became a micro-manufacturer that produces all of its components internally.


My grandpapa was a watchmaker. I think he gave me the passion for watches, and I’ve been in the
watch business for 35 years. And my partner Stefan 17:54 we created this brand 8 years ago, in
homage to my grandpapa, who is Cecil Purnell. He’s Australian who moved to France to the war. He
was injured and he was in a wheel chair for a year, and he took up watch making in Switzerland. When
I grew up, I used to go and spend time with him in Australia. He had a bench, he used to work on
watches. Went to University in America. I did my O and A’ Levels in UK. Went back to America, worked
in America for a while and then got into the industry. I worked with 18:39. I worked with


Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

18:41. I was
there, when Winston was still alive. I worked with this guy, Ronald Abrahams with the special projects
in the diamond world. They were not in the watch business. Then I worked for another fellow, called
Henry Grosberg, who is the inventor of radium cut diamonds. He say, why don’t you do something
yourself, and I went into buying old state jewelry. My love was pocket watches. In 83’ I moved back
to France with my family, and I just continued in the watch industry. They gave me basically Asia, to go
ahead and yes. Then afterwards I worked more in the jewelry 19:23, because I had several private
clients and Stephan and I bumped into each other. I think it was in 1999 again. We haven’t seen each
other in around 5, 6 years. And so in 2006, we started this brand. 19:37


Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

What we did is, we bought a movement company and the movement company, allowed us to have a
proprietary movement. Rather than going, when we tried first, we went oh yeah, and that was not the
right approach. If you have to be a bit different, you have to have something of yourself, and that’s
what we did. We have our own movement, our own mechanism. We don’t make all the components
in house, understand, but it is our movement. So it’s not a movement you’ll see elsewhere. We came
out with our first 20:24. We wanted something which was bold, which was recognizable. Gerald Genta
was a friend of mine and Jerry was a brilliant designer. He designed the 20:33, he designed the 20:35.
We have a brilliant designer who I think is on par with somebody like Jerry Genter. 20:44


Jewellery Theatre Elements

We launched 20:52 about 5 years ago. Then we came up with our 20:55 case, we launched that like 3
year ago. We won the Journey through time Award, for the best design of high complications. We
were nominated for the Gran Pier of Geneva, in 2012 and 2013. This year, we’ve launched the Double
21:18, which is a new caliber. It’s for our V15, we put it in the rendezvous case. Its 343 components.
It’s a double


Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

21:28 with 72 power reserve, 3 hertz in operation and we have 45 jewels in 21:33. There
are always people who are going to be wealthy people, and it takes effort. Don’t think that the person
who never made it just because somebody inherited it, doesn’t mean that necessarily that they’ll keep
it. If you get up in the morning and you can enjoy what you do, you’re already wealthy in that. 21:56


OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Jonathan Parser, Cecil Purnell Watches, Switzerland