The history of Perseo watches dates back a long time. What is certain is that the fame of Perseo watches is due to the first supply of pocket watches tothe Italian State Railways (Ferrovie dello Stato) back in 1927. Since then, MaisonPerseo has enjoyed remarkable and steady growth in terms of visibility and prestige. Perseo watches and the Italian State Railways are a very good match indeed, as the supply of timepieces has been uninterrupted to this day. Tens of thousands of watches have been supplied to the Italian Railways since that famous year of 1927. In the 1960s, the Perseo brand was bought by Swiss house Cortébert, and the distribution of the watches was entrusted to the Fernus family, who are still the official distributors of Perseo through their company in Italy. The brand’s name, Perseo, is a guarantee of quality in the universe of watchmaking. The brand owes much of its success to its Italian name, it originates from Greek mythology: Perseus is the Greek hero who defeated Medusa. But the brand’s real success is to be traced back to something else. During the Fascist period, foreign words were barely tolerated, if not altogether banned from the vocabulary. That’s why the owner of the brand, Alfredo degli Esposti – who was awarded the title of Commendatore – had an opportunity to become the Italian State Railways’ (Ferrovie dello Stato) exclusive supplier of watches. Many other brands (such as Patek Philippe, Zenith, etc.) were disadvantaged by their foreign names. Perseo’s leadership developed further thanks to the efficiency and precision of the Swiss movements used in its timepieces. Since the end of WWII, Ferrovie dello Stato has favoured Perseo’s products, acknowledging the reliability and prestige of the brand that has always distinguished itself by virtue of its history and quality of their timepieces. Throughout its history, Perseo has supplied watches to the Italian Football Federation (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio, or FIGC ), as well as to Milan public transport company (ATM) and the tramway company in Alexandria, Egypt. At present, it is also the watch supplier of the Turinese Transport Group (Gruppo Torinese Trasporti, or GTT) in the Piedmont region. Since 2015, thanks to its by now centennial synergy with the Italian railway world, it undertook a collaboration for the supply of watch to the ‘Officine Grandi Riparazioni FS’, that are the flagship in Europe for repairing, modernizing and restoring high tech trains. To honour its long and prestigious history, Perseo has set itself the goal of creating wrist and pocket Swiss Made precision mechanical watches, products made according to the principles of classical beauty and elegance. The evolution and innovation of the brand is, as always, continuing with the launch of several new models in 2017 and in particular with ultra limited editions like the Battle of the Piave, and the renewed Trestelle Collection, which celebrates the Made In Italy with its own style and design.
Jacques Gevril was an up-and-coming watch and clockmaker in 1758 when he accompanied his colleague Pierre Jaquet-Droz on a trip to Madrid. While in Spain, they presented a selection of complex musical automata to King Ferdinand VI. The king was so impressed he bought every piece. Jaquet-Droz returned home the following year but Gevril remained in Spain to fortify his reputation as a master watchmaker and was appointed Royal Watchmaker by the king. Gevril lived in Spain for many years thereafter, refining his craft and producing watches for the Crown. The history of Gevril watches is a story that combines an illustrious watchmaking past with an innovative modern revitalization. The company origins date back to the mid-18th century with Jacques Gevril, the gifted Swiss watchmaker who is the founder and inspiration of the eponymous brand. Today the Gevril name thrives thanks to the vision of Swiss horologist and businessman, Samuel Friedmann, who pushed the brand to its current global profile as an established Swiss Maison Horlogere. Traditions
Gevril’s watchmaking mastery thrived through his descendants including Moyse Gevril and Daniel Gevril, who built their reputations on horological innovations and artistic enamelling techniques. Today Gevril pocket watches are highly collectible timepieces: a particularly significant example is on display in the Muséum in Genève and another is part of the collection of the Wilsdorf family, the founders of Rolex. Renaissance The brand’s return to the global scene occurred in 2001 when Samuel Friedmann, a Swiss businessman with a passion for watches, purchased the Gevril brand name. Friedmann, who grew up in Lugano, Switzerland, understood the significance of the Gevril name and wanted to see it prosper in the world of contemporary watchmaking. He was determined to return the brand to its previous brilliance and global prominence. Friedmann kept the factory – Gevril Horlogerie – in Switzerland, where the company continued to assemble approximately 6,000 Swiss made mechanical watches each year, primarily limited editions in either 18 kt. gold or stainless steel. Gevril headquarters, however, was moved to New York. Since then the Maison has gone from strength to strength reacquiring its former glory and reputation for exceptional style and quality, and even surpassing its previous accomplishments to become a truly global Manufacture with its timepieces worn and appreciated the world over by famous celebrities and thousands of connoisseurs collectors.