Page and Cooper Hanhart luxury gentlemans watches

Page and Cooper Hanhart luxury gentlemans watches

Tick tock…tick tock so goes the cuckoo clock.

Watches you say ….. Switzerland you think

Watches you think ……German efficiency and build …..

Hanhart Watches courtesy of Page and Cooper
Hanhart Watches courtesy of Page and Cooper

Brand identity is the most valuable of things and when it comes to watches they do not come any higher than Switzerland and Germany. Funnily enough I was asking a friend of mine who lives in Gstaad why it was that Switzerland had developed such an excellence in this field, I was told it had comes from the fact that the mountain farmers needed to have an occupation during the long winter months. I do not know how true this is, but heh why spoil the story….

In 1882 in a the little town of Diessenhofen in northeast Switzerland the watchmaker Johann A. Hanhart sat down, took out his pen and paper and drafted an announcement. He “respectfully informs the worthy residents of Diessenhofen and surroundings” that he has purchased a business and its premises at the town’s Hauptstrasse with the intention of opening a watch shop. The notice appeared in the “Anzeiger am Rhein” newspaper on 1 July 1882 and later relocated his business in 1902 to Schwenningen in southern Germany, the stronghold of watchmaking.

Hanhart Watches courtesy of Page and Cooper
Hanhart Watches courtesy of Page and Cooper

As a brand they introduced the first reasonably priced mechanical stopwatch, after which pocket watches, wristwatches, split-second stopwatch. In 1939 the legendary “Calibre 41” and “TachyTele” pilot’s chronographs followed with a red painted button to prevent unintentional resetting. During the Second World War, pilots and naval officers wore Hanhart chronographs which were capable of withstanding the most severe tests.

In 1948 the production of chronographs resumed, under a commission from the French, Hanhart manufactured the “Admiral” chronograph – especially for doctors and military officers. Precision timepieces were supplied to Navys. These developments continued all the way up to 2012 where they celebrated their 130th anniversary.

Add into the mix the English company Page and Cooper, who’s managing director Jonathan Bordell has a longstanding history with watchmaking and selling luxury goods.

You will not find the majority of the items available through Page and Cooper on general sale as they are niche products made by small, independent companies using traditional skills.

Hanhart Watches courtesy of Page and Cooper
Hanhart Watches courtesy of Page and Cooper

During trips to high-end classic car events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Italy’s Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este he began to explore the ever-increasing crossover between collectable cars and classically made wristwatches. What he discovered was that it is often the story behind such watches which makes people want to own them – and the less well known the story, the better.

As with cars, Jonathan’s interest in horology had been long-standing (his grandfather had been a watchmaker in London’s East End), so he set out to discover the niche brands that might appeal to like-minded enthusiasts and now spends a considerable amount of time seeking out small, low-volume, often little-known watchmakers. 

All watches offered by Page and Cooper come from ateliers which have been personally visited by Jonathan and invariably, have fascinating, little known stories behind them. They offer buyers an opportunity to indulge their horological passion on a relatively affordable scale – something at the very heart of Page and Cooper’s remit. 

If your definition of luxury extends to objects which are made with integrity, craftsmanship, style and a sense of history, there’s a good chance they will have something you’ll like. And even if they do not, they can probably find it.

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