Interview with Felix Baumgartner

Felix Baumgartner, co-founder of Urwerk, talks the Swiss independent brand’s return to Baselworld, shares his company’s strategies and reveals first news about a new project.

Mr Baumgartner, during the past weeks, Baselworld announced many new concepts and measures for the 2019 edition. What are your expectations of the show?
Felix Baumgartner: After four years absence, 2019 will see our vibrant comeback to Baselworld. We are optimistic, thrilled and curious to be an active part of this new concept. It’s an adventure for us, an ambitious one! We are joining Les Ateliers, the place to be if you are an independent watchmaking brand. We hope for more connectivity, a better exposure and an inspiring time.

The industry is undergoing rapid changes. How do you perceive them? Where do they have the strongest impact?
Felix Baumgartner: We do not follow the industry developments, even more so when it is imposing a fast and hectic pace. As an independent brand, we follow our own speed, slowly paced and based on our creativity and inner forces. We produce around 130 pieces a year and do not want to increase this figure. It is always surprising to see how people react when we explain that we do not want to grow or expand. We follow our own path. Recently, we opened our own second-hand shop with vintage creations that are no longer in production. We are receiving great feedback on this.

How did digitisation influence Urwerk?
Felix Baumgartner: The Internet and new communication channels made us who we are today. When we created the company, we had very limited means. Thanks to these new tools we were able to gain an international visibility quite fast. Now their influence is spreading in all areas, sales is only one of them.

What does Urwerk have up the sleeves for Baselworld 2019?
Felix Baumgartner: We are working on a collaborative project that hopefully will catch people by surprise once again. We discovered a very talented craftsman and are really looking forward to working with him. It will be quite unique.


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