The more things change, the more they stay the same

The Watchbros are in!

Exactly one year ago, Massimo and Leonard Dreifuss heard their father almost casually proclaim: ‘I’m out!’ They knew this day would eventually come—that much was clear. Perhaps the announcement could have been more elegant, spoken with more care, and sounding more like a solemn speech or a plan for the future. But that is not how things unfolded. For Daniel Dreifuss, a master storyteller less was apparently more. These words marked a new phase in the evolution of Maurice de Mauriac with his sons at the helm.

And while the statement was short, the planning was long. Daniel Dreifuss was preparing for this moment for over five years. Back then, he established a monthly meeting dedicated to the theoretical and practical topics concerning brand management. Since then, Massimo and Leonard have been sitting at the office table with specialists for brand management, for marketing and design, digital communication and public relations, with suppliers and, of course, with watch lovers. Daniel refers to these sessions as the ‘table university’, and the shift took place gradually. Initially, the brothers simply participated, and a little later, ‘Päps’, as they like to call their father, just sat in on the sessions. It didn’t take long until the brothers were conducting these appointments themselves.

At that moment, they went from being brothers in a watch family to being the Watchbros. They learned the craft from their family and were now in charge of the family business. Their father recognised this, and his three words were enough to make it official.

Massimo and Leonard have had a tough time stepping out from behind their father’s watch-obsessed shadow. A gifted and eccentric thinker of colours, the enfant terrible of the watch industry, a man obsessed with details, fascinated by stories and a gifted networker who curates a community of over 100,000 customers and friends of the brand via his mobile phone, Daniel Dreifuss indeed casts a very long shadow. Thus, it was all the more important that he consistently stepped aside so that the light of the brand, the market and the entire Maurice de Mauriac community shown on his sons.

Daniel Dreifuss’s last watch, the ‘L3 sees red’, which is his ‘farewell watch’ for the brand, was immediately followed by the Watchbros’ first watch – the Grand Cœur. This watch is a watchmaking tour de force and its standing in the market already bears the signature of a younger generation – that of the Watchbros.

While ‘Päps’ and his wife make their lives more and more ‘Italian’, their sons, the Watchbros, carry on being faithful to the brand’s claim: watches made by Zurich. Their own personal Zurich is what feeds their creativity and flows into the design of each watch – just like it did for Daniel. Building upon his legacy, his valuable contacts, and his inspiration, the Watchbros continue to cultivate their own Zurich.

Massimo and Leonard’s transformation from bros to Watchbros wasn’t the result of those fateful words spoken by their father. It wasn’t even the five years of intensive preparation or growing up as part of a passionate family business. No, they became the Watchbros because they had the freedom to become whatever they wanted, and they nevertheless both felt the burning desire to become who they are. While Daniel is out, the Watchbros are definitely in!

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