History and Tradition Meet Exclusivity and Glamour
The history of Gevril watches is a story that combines an illustrious watchmaking past with an innovative modern revitalization. The company origins date back to the mid-18th century and Jacques Gevril, the gifted Swiss watchmaker who is the founder and inspiration of the eponymous brand.
Jacques Gevril was an up-and-coming watch and clockmaker in 1758 when he accompanied his colleague Pierre Jaquet-Droz on a trip to Madrid. There, the men presented a selection of complex musical automata to King Ferdinand VI. The king was so impressed he bought every piece. Jaquet-Droz returned home the following year but Gevril remained in Spain to fortify his reputation as a master watchmaker and was appointed Royal Watchmaker by the king. Gevril lived in Spain for many years thereafter, refining his craft and producing watches for the Crown.
Gevril’s traditions were survived by future generations of Gevril watchmakers including Moyse Gevril and Daniel Gevril, who built their reputations on horological innovations and artistic enameling techniques. Today Gevril pocket watches are highly collectible: one is even located in the Muséum Genève and another is part of the collection of the Wilsdorf family, founders of Rolex.
In the 1990s a Swiss distributor acquired rights to the Gevril name, eventually launching a series of Gevril watches at the Basel Fair in 1995. But the brand’s true renaissance occurred in 2001 when a Swiss businessman with a passion for watches, purchased the Gevril brand. He understood the significance of the Gevril name and wanted to see it prosper in the world of contemporary watchmaking. He was determined to return the brand to its previous brilliance.
The factory – Gevril Horlogerie – was kept in Switzerland, where the company continued to assemble approximately 6,000 strictly Swiss made mechanical watches each year, primarily limited editions in either 18 kt. gold or stainless steel. Gevril headquarters, however, was moved to New York.
Gevril prides itself on creating imaginative timepieces for original people, which in part is what made the work of Jacques Gevril so special and successful. Modern Gevril reveres its Swiss origins and the watchmakers who worked so diligently to build the Gevril name and reputation. Those independent roots combined with a desire to innovate are what drive Gevril watchmakers to this day. With such a rich and lengthy heritage and one of the greatest cities in the world as its home and constant inspiration, Gevril is thriving – just as its founder once did in service for the Spanish Crown.