Obituary: Daniel Dreifuss, founder of Zurich’s Maurice De Mauriac

September 2023

Obituary: Daniel Dreifuss, founder of Zurich's Maurice De Mauriac

The industry has lost an eccentric figure and a master storyteller. Founder of Maurice De Mauriac, Daniel Dreifuss, passed away on Friday, August 25, at the age of 63 after a two-year battle with cancer.


e are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Daniel, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend. We will always remember him as a colorful, human lover, and storyteller.”

Sincerely yours,
Dreifuss Family: Claudia, Massimo, Leonard & Masha.

How long should an obituary of Daniel Dreifuss be?

If it were for him to read, no longer than a sentence. Because after that, his attention span would vanish anyway. Astonishing for a man, who not only seemed to have invented storytelling, but also made a living from it.

There is nothing, literally nothing in Daniel’s environment, that wasn’t witness of a compelling story.

Obituary: Daniel Dreifuss, founder of Zurich's Maurice De Mauriac

Every piece of clothing, every color, every piece of furniture, each and every accessory and, of course, every single watch - has its own story to tell. Stories that always conveyed his own.

Daniel’s passing on the night of August 24th, marked his last story.

But whoever thinks that this is the end of his telling, is mistaken. Daniel’s story and stories have a quality that outlasts time. Who can top Daniel, who tested his first watches by trying to sell them on the train from Zürich to Bern. And actually sold them, to complete strangers! Making that possible wasn’t the sole merit of the watches. Daniel was a passionate salesman. A salesman by heart and instinct. He could sell an item, without giving you the feeling of being sold something. His opposite suddenly was in possession of a timepiece - and would love it.

Love was incredibly important to Daniel. He loved his family. Although it is worth mentioning that Daniel’s understanding of family was vastly expanded.

Most of us think of our mother, father or children when speaking about family, but for Daniel, his family grew with every watch he sold. By that time, Daniel had over 150’000 family members. Age or gender didn’t matter to Daniel. His watches, however, had to be loved by his family members.

Daniel particularly loved his traditional family. One can clearly see that by the way he built his company, his brand, his legacy for his family.

He built his life’s work over several years, so his children would be able to take it over one day. That D Day was roughly two years ago. This also became a story, the story of generational change, Daniel told it in his very own way. Radical, intense, inimitable. And it’s also a story of success. Massimo, Leo and Masha have made Maurice de Mauriac their story and have proven to be talented and determined to carry the brand through the next chapter. Daniel’s life’s work is growing. Especially in a time when life appeared to suddenly be so finite.

Obituary: Daniel Dreifuss, founder of Zurich's Maurice De Mauriac

His wife Claudia, artist through and through - painter, drawer, musician - carried the creative power in her, to view life with Daniel as a total piece of art, and has surpassed all crises that came along with creating his life’s work. She did not only experience, but carry and smoothen the effects into positive energy. Nothing less than a lifetime achievement.

To enumerate where Daniel lived, worked, when he developed which watch and and and.... Would never describe him sufficiently. He was never an excel-spreadsheet kind of guy. He was more of a mind map-type without having the need to actually mindmap.

Daniel had a memory that many were jealous of. Which is why his sons needed months and months to learn what Daniel had stored in his head and in his head only to successfully lead Maurice de Mauriac into its next phase. This very memory of Daniel was his base of the love towards details. He wouldn’t miss anything or anybody. His watches bargained from that, by being deconstructed into its single decisions and singularly made his mind on every decision. Revoked it. Decided again. Revoked it once more. Overthought again. And so on. And he wouldn’t forget a single thought. Some called it tiring, others called it genius.

His small family will miss Daniel sorely. Not everything, but everything that made him that special.

His big family will miss Daniel. Not everything about him, but the restlessness that he had given along as a creative input.

Obituary: Daniel Dreifuss, founder of Zurich's Maurice De Mauriac

Be it an unusual story, a wild surprise, a very specific detail or a different view of the big picture and the watch industry - Daniel always had the suiting story at hand.

Daniel will miss himself. Because Daniel lives on in this and in every one of his stories.

Daniel, we wish you a good time.

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