Two years ago, French entrepreneurs, Guillaume Laidet (who worked previously at Jaeger-Lecoultre, Zenith, and founded William L.1985) and Remi Chabrat (the owner of the private label watchmaker Montrichard Group), had their first discussion about the potential of resurrecting Nivada Grenchen.
Fast forward to today, and they’ve partnered together and secured the license to use the Nivada Grenchen copyright (a year ago), from the Mexican Group (Holzer Y Cia SA de CV), and will soon relaunch historic watch brand.
The vintage trend has been going on for a while now, and you can argue that Omega, who has kept their Speedmaster Professional in continuous production since the 1960s, perpetuated the business model for recreating historic watch models. It was Oris, however, that we’d contend sparked the latest trend of creating new lines based very closely on historic designs — marketed at accessible price points — when they debuted the Oris Divers Sixty Five at Baselworld 2015.
At the time, I looked at numerous historic brands and wondered which would be best to relaunch and while a number have successfully come to market, such as Ollechs & Waj and Yema, for example. It was Nivada Grenchen’s historic seemed like one of the better-untapped opportunities at the time. I liked the visual aspects of their vintage chronographs and was hoping someone would make their old designs at an entry-level price.
With that said, Nivada Grenchen spoke to PW today and confirmed they will begin by debuting the Chronomaster and Antarctic collections for pre-sale in June, with deliveries to being in December 2020 (assuming COVID-19 related issues do not cause delays).
If the Chronomaster and Antarctic do well, the Depthmaster, Datomaster, Travelmaster and other past wristwatch models will follow.
According to Nivada Grenchen, “The core idea is to respect, as much as possible, the original designs and stick to authentic specifications while offering ‘affordable’ prices. In order to ensure the project’s success, they have started to share first designs on their freshly created Instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/nivadawatches/). The objective is to collect all the feedback from the already existing and demanding Nivada Grenchen community.”
The collections will be Swiss made, with Sellita movements and all the watches will be assembled in Switzerland. Production will be limited and the prices will be reasonable.
The three-hand model will come in a 38 mm x 11.5 mm stainless steel case that will retail at approximately $705 on a leather strap. The CASD manual winding chronograph will come in a 39 mm x 14.25 mm stainless steel case and be approximately $1,738 on leather or tropical rubber strap, and the CASD automatic chronograph will come in a 39 mm x 16.25 mm stainless steel case and retail for approximately $1955. Adding a stainless steel jubilee bracelet will cost $215.
Learn more at Nivada Grenchen.