I already have enough impostor syndrome trying to blog about watchmaking, I’m not going to start to pretend I’m also a film critic. That said, the 25 minute production I’m going to tell you about showcases enough topics close to my heart that I wanted to make sure to recommend it. And, if you’re reading this blog, a lot of those topics are probably of interest to you too!
Chasing Microns tells the story of Horage, a Bienne brand of which I’m a huge fan. I’ve written here before about their philosophy, one of their watches, and their initiative in support of Ukraine. As I wrote back then, at Horage, thinking different is the norm. The documentary they produced shows us how doing different is also in their DNA.
If this had just been some typical brand promotional material, I wouldn’t be writing about it. As you may know, and sorry for repeating myself if you do, I have no commercial engagement whatsoever with any watch brand —aside from spending too much of my own income on watches, that is!
When Landon Sterling, Horage’s Marketing Director, shared a preview link with me, I must confess I was somewhat skeptical (please don’t tell him). I was expecting it to be interesting, not entertaining. 25 minutes later, I was surprised, and almost disappointed, that it was already over. You see, the film was produced not by watch marketers (no offense), but by true documentary professionals. In fact, it has the same Director of Photography, Niki Waltl, as this year’s Oscar-winning documentary, Navalny.
Chasing Microns tells Horage’s story. How the brand, founded by Tzuyu Hang, and her husband, now CEO, Andreas Felsl, decided to produce its own movements. This was not by choice, initially. Rather, as the supply of movements in the industry was going through a paradigm shift, they saw it as a necessity. In the film, interviews with some of the company’s key players takes us through the journey. Uncertainty, fear, doubt, questioning, all were part of what they had to fight against, with a sense of mission you can only truly understand by meeting them —or watching the film.
One thing I personally appreciate about Horage is how they always strive to offer great value. Their watches are (relatively, as always with watchmaking) extremely affordable when you take into account the level of complex, in-house, bespoke work that goes into each. That’s true of their signature tourbillons, but also across the entire range, including more casual, everyday pieces. The ambition, passion and dedication are remarkable.
The team at Horage is greatly enthusiastic about its presence in Bienne. They chose the city by design, from the onset. They knew here is where they could source the best parts, and find the best people to meet their goals. Horage proudly displays Biel/Bienne, instead of Swiss Made, on every dial.
The film shows beautiful images of our city, from the old town to the most recent constructions, and the lake. The Mayor of Bienne, Erich Fehr, actually joined the premier of the film that was organized last month at Horage’s new production site, near the Gorges du Taubenloch. He, and other guests, seemed particularly impressed with the documentary, and what Horage is up to.
The film is available on the Horage website. I’ll be very curious to hear what you think of it, if you have time to drop a comment below.
As this is the last article of 2023, I would like to thank you for reading this blog. None of it would be possible without the engaged community that has developed over the past 3 years. Your thoughts, feedback and encouragements, here, on Instagram, or the streets of Bienne, are what keep me going, especially when I struggle to find the time and energy, alongside my job and family.
Happy holidays and, in advance, my very best wishes for 2024!