Chair in Watch Design

The Watch Design Chair offers a specialised course dedicated to watch design and culture. Watchmaking, the Swiss heritage industry par excellence, is a complex field of expression that mixes history with technique, creativity and economy. In fact, there is not one watchmaking industry, but several: the luxury watch, the entry-level watch, the professional watch, the lifestyle accessory. All these watches revolve around a same centre of gravity, design: the heart and soul of everything that makes Swiss watches unique, and its underlying creativity and ability to reinvent itself constantly.

For a long time, the impetus came from the industry itself, but the challenge of creativity has become so predominant that an academic response has become necessary. The Watch Design Chair is precisely intended to complement the industry, to help renew it, as a source of inspiration and innovation, with a sense of freedom and transversality that watch brands, by nature, cannot achieve alone.

The challenge is considerable, and the means are equal to it. During their training, students acquire design skills and learn to interact with the entire industry through seminars, talks, visits and workshops, where most of the creative projects are carried out in connection with brands.

During their training, students develop a watchmaking culture in the broadest sense of the word that includes history, current trends, strategic issues for the future, manufacturers, subcontractors, and mechanical complications. The students also follow courses in the Product/Jewellery and Accessory Design Bachelor’s degree, which opens up the spectrum to the fashion sector.

The students also get to hone their own creativity by approaching watchmaking in its entirety, from the 3D prototype to the finished watch, packaging, product environment, and project management, and from art direction to marketing positioning.

At the Master’s level, the Chair in Watch Design offer the following programme:

- perfecting technical knowledge of watchmaking, construction and watch complications
- computer skills (CAD SolidWorks, Creative Suite improvement, 3D rendering/photorealistic images),

- drawings, sketches, freehand sketches, perspectives and renderings,
- display, packaging, photography as well as graphic design and layout specific to watchmaking codes,
- coaching and specialized workshops in watch marketing, issues and trends in the field 
- watchmaking culture, history, traditional and social media, watchmaking communication.

For their dissertation, students may choose to carry out a personal project or one related to an existing brand. Thus, at the end of their studies, graduates are able to work in the watchmaking field as qualified junior designers. 

Head of Department
Valérie Ursenbacher

Scientific Collaborator
Stéphanie Van Zwam

Cyril De Froment

Invited speakers

Astrid Alberto, Alex Ballmer, Julien Bernard, Marco Borraccino, Michel Cover, David Cuenat, Vivianne Fankhauser, Stéphane Gachet, Gregory Gardinetti, Lukas Gopp,  Jiyoun Han, Steve Holder, Simon Husslein, Laurence Janin Schlemmer, Nicolas Mertenat, Sébastien Mettraux, Hervé Munz, Neftali Notario, Alexandre Peraldi, David Rofeh, Christophe Roulet, Alain Sielberstein, Serena Trabalza, Guillaume Tripet, Lorenzo Vallone, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht