At the young age of nineteen, Achilles Ditesheim founded a company in 1881 in Switzerland. Together with a team of six craftsmen, Ditesheim operated from a small workshop in La Chaux-de-faunds. Initially, the entire range of Movado watches was fabricated and manufactured by hand. Nonetheless, by 1899, the Movado brand had accumulated no fewer than six 'First Class Official Ratings Certificates' for collections within their category. Overtime, Movado received a number of awards, including the Silver Medal at the Universal Demonstration in Paris. In 1912, Movado launched their patent polyplan design, a construction on three planes which permitted fitting into a curved case. Over subsequent years the business expanded, producing more than 700 wristwatch models, and by 1927, Movado had created a self-winding pocket watch which was considered highly innovative at the time.
By the end of World War Two, Movado launched the Tempomatic, the first automatic watch, which in subsequent years became an international bestseller. Perhaps one of the most famous of Movado's watches is the Museum Watch. Designed by Nathan George Horwitt in 1947, and originally produced by Vacheron & Constantin-Le Coultre Watches, Inc. Movado produced unauthorized copies of this piece, however settlement was reached in 1975, when Movado offered payment to Horwitt of $29,000. Nevertheless, the timepiece had already been added to the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art, fifteen years previously. Movado was purchased by Gedalio Grinberg in 1983.
Movado Through the Decades
Arguably some of Movado's best watches of the 1920's were the Ermeto and Valentino. As the name suggests, the Valentino was inspired the iconic star of the silent screens, none other than Rupert Valentino. Without doubt, both timepieces were the most luxurious of the era; the Valentino had a casing of snake skin, and the Ermeto is hailed as an early prototype for the travel alarm clock. The Ermeto consisted of a small timepiece housed in a box, when the case was opened the piece was revealed and the watch was automatically wound. There were numerous versions of the Ermeto, including enameled, gold or silver etched and diamond encrusted.
In 1981, Movado unveiled the Imperiale, the renowned bracelet watch that later became the Sports Edition. Within two decades, the company reintroduced the Sports Edition but with a modern twist, the Movado SE. The popularity of sports watches by the House of Movado led, in 2006, to the launch of the Movado Series 800, which also contained the single dot at 12 O'clock, so characteristic of the Movado brand.
Movado's Artists' Series offers a myriad of designs by some of the most celebrated artists. Of the collection, perhaps the most famous is Andy Warhol's Times/5 Movado Watch. Launched in 1988, the Movado timepiece features five different watches on the bracelet, each featuring various New York cityscapes, and became an iconic collector’s piece among world travelers. Only 250 such pieces were ever created.
Movado Collections for Women
Movado's distinct, elegant and minimalist style is also evident in many of their timepieces for women, and this is certainly the case with the Movado Women’s 604982 Amorosa Bangle Watch. Refined and understated, this model exudes elegance. A plain black dial with the iconic dot at 12 O'clock compliments the curved bangle, and the setting of eighteen diamonds on the bracelet adds just a hint of sparkle. The Amorosa is water resistant to depths of 30 meters and protected by a scratch resistant, sapphire crystal which serves as the dial window. A truly stunning watch.
Similarly, the Concerto by Movado is offered in a range of versions, however, they all offer stainless steel bracelets with wide, sculpted links. The dials are offered in a variety of shapes; oval, round and rectangular- with either a mother of pearl or gold plated dial. The legendary dot at 12 O'clock is also present on every piece. The Movado Circlo 0606488, on the other hand, features a slightly more ornate style bracelet in a circle motif design. Housed in a stainless steel case, the timepiece also features a silver soleil dial.
Where Innovation Meets Art: Movado
Undoubtedly, and overtime, the Movado brand has become synonymous with innovation, elegance and style. For more than a century the company has produced some of the most amazing timepieces; from the first self-winding pocket watch in 1927 to the Iconic Museum Watch, which remains on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Art. The brand's clean, minimalist designs are highly sought throughout the world, earning Movado an esteemed reputation as one of the world's foremost watchmakers. Unsurprisingly, Movado's timepieces are highly collectible and remain popular with the upscale enthusiast, women, sportsmen and those who have an eye for exquisite design, breathtaking detail combined with superb craftsmanship.