Juerg K. Bohne, managing director of the Swiss brand Atlantic Watch SA since 1998, reviews the present and the future of this old lady who, for over 120 years, has stayed true to the slogan of her founder, Eduard Kummer: “the highest quality at the best price”.
This year, saw the launch of the automatic Worldmaster 1888 collection; a way of paying homage to the rich history of Atlantic Watch SA
JKB: Yes. Atlantic derives its know-how and experience from the rich human story following the foundation of EKB in 1888 by Eduard Kummer at Bettlach. Famous for his own developments with automatic movements from 1930, his Atlantic collections were among the first water-resistant watches and, for example, featured the date window Speed-Switch. EKB, renamed Atlantic in 1954, is a brand that has never made any concessions concerning the quality of its watches.
Is this what attracted you, when you took over at Atlantic?
JKB: Apart from this long watchmaking tradition, which has remained internationally famous for many years in the mid-price segment, I saw a huge potential for growth at Atlantic. In addition, the company has a culture of attention to detail – for example, our manually mounted appliqué dial indexes – always in search of elegant, flowing designs that combine sophistication with a sporting character.
However, our main objective remains more than ever in the development of collections in traditional, sporting and elegant segments with mechanical watches with an excellent price-quality ratio. Atlantic is constantly innovating and anticipating so that it can offer each consumer what he is looking for.
Why do you have such a huge collection?
JKB: We are currently developing 13 lines including around 650 models, whose prices lie between CHF200.- and CHF1,000.-. Nevertheless, at these prices we offer the best processes and the best materials. We use ETA and Ronda mechanical movements,
scratch-resistant sapphire crystals, 316L stainless steel, not to mention our waterresistance controls that guarantee our watches from 30 metres to 300 metres in the case of some models. All of this means we are able to offer a two-year guarantee on all of our products
Which are your favourite lines?
JKB: This is a difficult question, as all are clearly important, since they reflect the consumer preferences, which we take carefully into account during our product development phase. This explains why in some markets design is the key element, while in others the
focus is more on the mechanical movement. Today I am wearing the automatic Seashark chronograph, but I also like the Blackshark
or the Skipper line. As you can see, I go for really sporty time. I must be under the influence of the forthcoming Baselworld. Seriously, though, these are my favourites at the moment, but I can change models very easily.
What’s in store for the Atlantic brand?
JKB: Well of course we are going to Basle with novelties that are extremely important for Atlantic. We are finalising an automatic model with power reserve that will retail for CHF 1,000.-. We are also developing some affordable models from CHF 2000.- without making any concessions on our quality requirements. Finally, we are well represented in the Eastern Europe markets, where we enjoy an excellent reputation of longstanding, and we are looking at the possibility of tailoring our range more specifically for certain emerging markets, adding new collections at particularly interesting prices.
Technical details of the Atlantic Worldmaster 1888 Réserve de Marche
Movement Automatic, ETA 2897-2, 40-hour power reserve
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, date and power-reserve indicator
Case 316L stainless steel, 42 mm
Hand-polished cambered bezel
Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-glare treatment
Water-resistant to 50 m / 5 ATM
Dial Black, silver or cream-toned dial with sunburst motif
Nickel or rose gold hour-markers and Arabic numerals
Date window at 3 o’clock
Power-reserve indicator at 7 o’clock
Strap Hand-sewn black or brown calfskin leather
Other versions Automatic ETA 2824-2, automatic COSC ETA 2824-2, automatic small seconds ETA 2895-2.