The family owned Swiss watchmaker carries on its rich heritage with an expanded collection of mid-range timepieces.
Catorex has a unique place in Swiss watchmaking. For one, the company has been in the hands of the same family for over two centuries. The watchmaker is also deeply anchored in the tradition of the Jura region and all aspects of the business - design, production, distribution and marketing - are under family control.
The company was established by Georges Ignace Cattin over 200 years ago. Georges was a watchmaker and a farmer – a rare combination – and we’re glad that it was his watchmaking skills that ware passed on from generation to generation.
The company is now headed by Guy Albert Cattin, a sixth generation owner of the family business Cattin & Cie, of which Catorex is the watchmaking division.
The company currently has three collections that boast 49 models in total. Among those are 26 new timepieces that were unveiled at Baselworld this past March.
All Catorex watches are recognizable by their crowns, which are fashioned to look like the crowns worn by royals. Even the company slogan “be majestic” is nod to that. Such attention to detail adds to the elegant and classic look of their timepieces.
The more “majestic” of their timepieces can be found in the Heritage collection. What I like about that series is that they feature vintage movements that have been restored by Catorex. For example, the Royal Vintage II houses a A. Schild AS 2063 movement in a modest 40mm case. Its copper dial and elegant indices and hands give the impression that this watch is straight out of the 1960s.
For those looking for a little more flash, there is also a limited edition of the same watch that comes encrusted with diamonds. In this case, 60 diamonds to be exact, which are wrapped across the circumference of the bezel, and as a result augment the price of the watch to 6’500 Swiss francs.
But it’s not just classic models that the brand is known for - they also have a range of sporty watches with a contemporary feel about them.
The 1858 Collection, for example has a few great examples of sports watches. One is the Krono, which is – unsurprisingly – a chronograph with date function powered by the self-winding ETA 7750 movement. It can be had in either bronze or ivory dials in a 42mm stainless steel case and retails for under 3,000 Swiss francs.
Within the same collection we also have the sporty GMT Voyager, which features a bold blue and black dial packaged in a similarly sized 42mm stainless steel case. It is powered by the ETA 2893-2 automatic movement and, as the name suggests, features 3 time zones.
These sporty watches are fit for daily wear and demonstrate that having centuries of family watchmaking heritage doesn’t have to mean not keeping up with the times.