Design Inspiration - Industrial design / product design blog

Montfort Watches

Switzerland has birthed a new watch brand MONTFORT WATCHES Co., has high ambitions to disrupt the current status quo by uniting a never seen before combination of value propositions:
1. Scratch resistant “Super Stainless Steel”
2. 3D printed stainless steel dials
3. Swissmade
4. Unbeatable value
Wear a watch without fear of scratching it
Philippe Kuratle, Co-founder of MONTFORTis happily married and father of 3 young children. His passions are entrepreneurship, winter sports and horology. Unable to find a modern, cool all-rounder watch he could wear at all times without the fear of scratching he decided to build one himself.

1. Scratch Resistance
“Super Stainless Steel” – Nitrocarburising
Thomas Kuratle, CEO of AIM SA and Philippe’s brother, brings years of experience in hardening watch parts. His company co-developed alongside the Danish company Expanite A/S, the nitrocarburising technology that Montfort uses. This technology not only hardens Stainless Steel to a surface hardness of 1200HV (Diamond has a HV of 10’000 for example while normal stainless steel varies between 140 – 200HV) but also preserves the anti-corrosive properties of Stainless Steel – something that isn’t always the case with other hardening processes.

2. 3D printed stainless steel dials
Creative freedom Jeremie Senggen, Co-founder and designer at MONTFORT wanted to integrate his and Philippe’s common passion for mountains in his watch design. Inspired by the Swiss-alp mountain range Jeremie designed a striking dial called ‘les massifs’, which closely resembles the mineral, crystalline structure of rocks, not dissimilar to the mineral structure observed after hardening of stainless steel. In order to produce the complicated ‘les massifs’ and Montfort’s reinterpretation of a watch industry classic the ‘Clous de Paris’ dials with apertures Montfort had to turn to 3D printing – the only technique that
allowed them this creative freedom. AIM SA, MONTFORT’s technological partner worked with a Swedish company – Digital Metal to develop this unique and game changing dial.

3. Swiss made
Undeniable quality In over 3 centuries the Swiss watch industry has built a reputation for precision, quality and exclusivity. MONTFORT’s Swiss founders were adamant on making their watch ‘Swiss made. The lure of dropping the ‘Swiss made’ label for lower production costs was never an option.

4. Unbeatable value
The product brief for MONTFORT was to develop a timeless, automatic Swiss made watch integrating innovative technologies and impeccable quality for an unbeatable price. In order to do this Montfort spent a long time developing its supply chain, business model and distribution strategy. Among other strategies (yet to be revealed) MONTFORTwill distribute directly through its website and partners allowing it to offer products at a fraction of the price of comparable competing brands

Time to innovate, the timeless challenge MONTFORT pays homage to the Mont-Fort mountain that rises above the popular ski resort of ‘Verbier’ in the Wallis canton of Switzerland, a mountain Philippe and his brother have been skiing since they were kids. Mont-Fort literally means “Strong Mountain” – the rocky, strong connotation of this mountain was the perfect namesake for a brand built around timeless, robust timepieces with a penchant for mineral, crystalline structures.

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