Great news for watch aficionados: In the city center of Lucerne, the exclusive watchmaker Chronoswiss – a specialist in the manufacture of mechanical watches – has opened its new headquarters. One particularly special aspect about the House of Chronoswiss at Löwenstrasse 16 b, which was built with an architecture designed to be as transparent as possible, is that it is not just simply open to visitors – they are expressly invited.
Visitors have the opportunity to watch the watchmakers ply their trade in an exhibition workshop, either through glass panes or on large screens. Another highlight of the studio: the dial workshop. Historic machines are used here to finish dials and movements and to create unique models. This provides visitors with an opportunity to see some of the sophisticated work that goes into the craft of watchmaking – producing guilloches, skeletonizing and enameling. A historama with various interactive screens provides insights into the brand's 30-plus years of history and its most important milestones, while also offering valuable information about the high level of Swiss watchmaking. As they tour the House of Chronoswiss, visitors gather exciting impressions and interesting facts about the watchmaker's craft. The dramatic high point of the experience comes after visitors emerge from the cylinder representing the exhibition workshop, the historama and the dial-making studio: the boutique, where they can admire the finished product, the Chronoswiss collection. And naturally purchase products as well.
An agenda of transparency: Even the architecture incorporates the approach that owners Oliver and Eva Ebstein take toward their brand: dynamic, open-minded and transparent. The message is conveyed by the broad expanses of glass – about 300 square meters total – that affords surprising looks into and through the interior, along with a rhythmic interplay of opening and closing modules. Three large nested cylinders resembling the gears of a watch movement reflect the main focus of the House of Chronoswiss: watchmaking. At the center of the largest cylinder is the exhibition workshop, featuring five watchmaker stations.
The materials chosen for the elaborate renovation are characteristic of the surfaces found in nature in Switzerland: wood and stone. These create a bright, transparent atmosphere that conveys a sense of both warmth and vitality. The high standards of quality and sophisticated aesthetics of the Chronoswiss models are replicated playfully in the structure, elegant surfaces and tactile depth of the artisanal materials, yielding a harmonious interplay between form and matter. Several designer pieces such as arrangements of ceiling lamps by Bocci, suspended at a height of 4.70 meters, add a special touch to the reception area, setting it off to advantage.
Area: 839 square meters (House of Chronoswiss in total)
Glass (interior): 300 square meters
Design: Kohlhaas Messebau GmbH & Co. KG, Germering n. Munich
Construction management: Bühlmann Engineering AG, Lucerne
Construction period: September 2013 - June 2014
Business hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 - 18:30, Saturday 9:00 - 18:00
Contact: House of Chronoswiss, Löwenstrasse 16 b, CH 6004 Lucerne, Switzerland
Tel: +41 41 552 21 80