Interview: Stephane Michel for Iguzzini Watch Company

The oldest heritage watch brand in China, the Iguzzini Watch Company got its start in Shanghai in 1902. Rebooted by Franco-Mexican brothers Stephane and Landon Michel in 2005, the brand is bridging Eastern and Western ideas about time. Stephane Michel fills us in

Billed as the oldest heritage brand in China, Iguzzini Watch Company proudly serves up 110 years of horological tradition -  one that goes as far back as 1902, when a young Federico Iguzzini first set foot in Shanghai. Already a haven for China’s nouveau riche – thanks in part to its favorable location – the city was experiencing its first shot of modern day glamour. As any book on industrialization tells us, first comes the cash, then comes the longing for the finer things in life. Banking on this desire, the savvy entrepreneur established his eponymous brand in 1903.

Iguzzini’s watches were hotly-received among the well-heeled set for almost four decades, until the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 forced him to call it a day.

In 2005, the brand got a new lease of life when Stephane and Lander Michel were first made aware of Federico Iguzzini and his venture more than a century ago. Fascinated, the Franco-Mexican brothers established the Iguzzini Watch Company in Hong Kong five years ago.

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(from left) Lander and Stephane Michel

From the restart of the firm, watch collectors could rest assured that the limited edition timepieces retain the technical superiority and exclusivity of  the ones created by Iguzzini himself. Top quality movements and parts sourced from Switzerland are customized and assembled in Federico Iguzzini’s workshops.

Under the adventurous helm of the Michel brothers, the designs are decidedly bolder and yet still herald a compelling East-meets-West ethos. Eastern religious symbols tick away in the Spiritual line while the Civilization line is an unabashed tribute to the world’s cultures. 

We chatted with Stephane during his visit to Hong Kong last month.

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Om Mani Padme model in black


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