In 2014 after many years in the industry, watchmaker Walter Hess made real a big dream: he opened up a shop “Hess Uhren” right next to the Hofkirche Luzern.
“An alternative to the mainstream” as he likes to call it. The sleek stylish boutique is indeed quite a contrast compared to many of the crowded jewelery stores in town. He shares the space with his wife, Judith Häller Hess who with an exquisite eye set up a small art gallery where different artists are regularly exhibited. One thing is for sure: at Hess Uhren there will always be something fascinating to look at.
When it comes to the watches, they are probably as beautiful as an object can be. There are two different models, one with rose gold numbers and another one with tiny rose gold dots in lieu of numbers. Each one of them is composed by a high quality leather wrist band, a sober 39.4 mm dial. The minimalistic design makes them suitable for men or women. Under the leitmotiv “less is more”, Mr. Hess managed to create the perfect understated piece of jewelry that will last you decades without ever going out of fashion. Up until now, there were two colors available: black or dark brown.
However, passionate for working with rare materials the artisan has an ace under his sleeve: the last couple of months he has been working on developing a new dial covered in diamond dust. Yes, you read right: Diamond. Dust. But if when I say diamond the picture that comes into your mind is the overwhelming use and abuse of bling that almost every brand out there stridently displays on every billboard, think again: Imagine stardust. Icicles shinning on a pinecone tree on a sunny winter day. Imagine subtle and elegant. Because that’s what we are talking about.
At a starting price of CHF 8400.- for the simplest model, some of people may ask themselves why invest in a somewhat lower profile local producer when that money could guarantee them an international brand wrapped around their wrist. The answer in Judith’s words? “Hess Uhren is for confident people who don’t feel the need to show off but who want to have something unique that only they know the value of, what it means to them”.
Design apart, the shop will provide you with something other brands won’t: personalized customized service. On any given day you will find Walter Hess sitting behind his magnifying glass, working with steady pulse and infinite patience in the ever so complex mechanism that makes the hands go round and round. If you buy a watch, he will even give you a tour of his atelier. One has to admit: in a world where everything comes out of a box that came from who knows where, there is something incredibly romantic and nostalgic in buying something where you get to see and be part of the process.
For more information visit their website, all their details are here.
Group visits and company events are available upon request.