“Prologue” is the name of the watch that Marc Jenni presented at this year’s Baselworld. It is a new construction which redefines the conventional crown system in a spectacular way. Under the alias “JJJ” this ambitious project was born in June 2008. It took almost two years to arrive from a passionate idea to a finished object. Only personal conviction, persistence and hard work made it happen that the watch could be presented to the public at the booth of the Horological Academy of Independent Creators at Baselworld 2010.
What makes this watch so special? Is it just a question of design? Or is it the triangle on the dial?
To be able to present one’s creation with the Horological Academy of Independent Creators at Baselworld, more than just a common watch must exist.
A grip, black ring rotates freely and gently around the entire watch case in both directions. All three basic functions of a normal crown-function are easily accessible by the selector located on the case at four o’clock. In the first position, “WIND”, the watch can be wound up. By carrying it on ones wrist, it is wound by the 22K gold rotor of the automatic movement by itself. The power reserve indicator shows the current state of energy of the movement with a small “+” or “-” at all times. If you want to change the date, you press once on the selector button and the selection hand jumps immediately to the mode “DATE”. One can then easily set the date by turning ring. The third and last position, “TIME”, is for time setting. You can simply rotate the ring to set the time. With a final press of the selector button the hand jumps back to its starting position and shows up on “WIND”.
The daily use of the rotating ring will eventually provoke a new force of habit. It creates an emotional attachment to the “Prologue” and leads to a new way of interacting with the watch.
Besides showing the three functions, the triangle has another reason for existing. It represents the coat of arms of the Jenni family from Glaris. This particularity is reflected on the gold rotor as well.
Behind the chosen alias “JJJ” hides the epitome of the horological activity of the Jenni family. The abbreviation stands for Johann Jakob Jenni, the oldest known ancestor of the family, who practiced the profession of watchmaker around 1780 in Glaris. Although neither his father nor his grandfather pressured Marc to become a watchmaker, as they were, he chose the same vocation and the family tradition continues. When Marc began his watchmaker apprenticeship at 16 years of age with Paul Gerber, the renowned master watchmaker, he realized that the creative and innovative side of watch-making would one day become his passion. After successful completion of his apprenticeship, Marc moved to a distant land, more precisely to Tiffany & Co. in New York, and there he gained his first international experience. Six months later he returned to Switzerland and together with his current partner and friend, Vicente Mafe, built a site in Saint-Sulpice, in the canton of Vaud, for the development, production and technical support of Tiffany watches. For more than 10 years he worked with the American jeweler and immersed himself in the watch industry and developed his creativity. Some products that appeared under the Tiffany & Co. brand carried his signature. In 2008, the time was right to take the step towards independence. Immediately the realization of a dream began: the creation of an own developed and manufactured watch. Marc Jenni’s quest for perfection comes from his fascination for the ancient art of watch-making, which he shares with watch connoisseurs and enthusiasts around the world and on the other hand the fusion of innovation and tradition, modernity and classicism. Crucial for Marc Jenni is always to maintain the respect and honesty towards the Swiss watch-making tradition and it is his goal to preserve and to evolve it. Since the introduction of its watch, “Prologue”, Marc Jenni is more than ever determined to bring many more ideas to life and to provide surprises to this fascinating world of watch-making.