alp' or the clock revisited

When faced with an object that has become obsolete with the advent of its electronic and digital replacements, there are two options: resign yourself to it or make it evolve.

The two founders of Keris have chosen to explore the latter option. They created their neo-manufacturing company in 2021 to restore this object – a symbol of Swiss expertise – to its rightful place. They set themselves the mission of reinterpreting the mechanical wall clock in such a way that it could find a home in contemporary interiors.

The result is an innovative offer built on three commitments: to make the mechanics seductive and fun; to offer a refined and design aesthetic; and then to combine the two in order to spark genuine emotion.

To succeed in this undertaking, Marie-Aude and Guillaume – the founders of Keris Time – are able to build on 20 years of experience in the watch industry (LVMH group) and have decided to work with a Parisian designer who is passionate about watchmaking. It was he who created the company’s first clock model, called alp’ and intended to convey the serenity and refinement provided by the mechanical display of time.

Moving from the idea to the completion of the first clock implied 15 months of work, for although the know-how involved had survived across five, the machines, tools and skills were no longer available. It therefore took many months of searching for capable and willing partners able to reflect on the production of models with very specific characteristics that are very different from standard wristwatch designs, followed by acquisition of the necessary equipment.

This work of rebuilding a centre of competence, which is still in progress, is based on trust and proximity, which is why the founders set themselves the task of finding their manufacturers within a 100 km radius of Neuchâtel. An additional challenge – symbolising a vision that goes beyond their own brand – lay in proving that Switzerland has been able, and will again be able, to produce the most beautiful interior timepieces to hang on walls around the world.

Launched last December, the brand’s first collection is called alp’. The choice of colours and textures is inspired by the peacefulness of the typical Neuchâtel landscape between the lake and the snow-capped Alps. The wooden frame is the same colour as the mountain stones, while the front is a thin layer of snow swept by a cloud symbolised by the dial.

The signature of this collection is the three openings on the front of the timepiece that enable the purchaser to enjoy the magic of natural, disconnected time.

Its very contemporary shape is that of a rectangle with rounded corners, a mischievous nod to connected objects. The off-centre balance beneath strikes a pleasing contrast with the traditional symmetry and creates a sense of harmony.

The watch movement is entirely designed by Keris. It operates at a rate of one beat per second, a frequency close to that of the heart. In a particularly original innovation, winding is done in a way similar to that of a watch, via a permanently positioned crown.

All in all, the Swiss made alp’ clock cleverly combines timeless elegance with a poetic display of the passing of time.

February 17, 2022