Where we started
Our brand « Molnar Fabry » represents the alliance of our names - Michal Molnar and Igor Fabry - and of our talents.
We have be gun our careers as certified jewellers and goldsmiths. Having finished our respective studies in 1998, we met in 2002 and kept on working in the industry until 2005, when we opened our own jewellery boutique. From the onset, we have specialized in the conception and creation of bespoke fine jewellery pieces, aiming at providing our clients with the best quality of both the gemstones and the artwork. Focused on enhancing our high-jewellery techniques and know-how, we gradually acquired all the corresponding equipment. We always were, and still are, on the lookout for innovative ideas and on an unrelenting quest for improving and developing our craftsmanship too. Eventually, our training and experience in the high jewellery organically led us to branch out our activities into the field of high watchmaking.
From fine jewellery to mechanical timepieces
Both passionate admirers of horology since our young age, our road to realizing unique handmade timepieces commenced in 2006, with a simple wish: to design and bring into being our own personal wristwatches. We have begun to study the pertinent specialist publications and technical literature, drawing on the wealth of publicly available information from the world’s finest watchmakers and from horologic history, until we later got the opportunity to exchange thoughts and knowledge with some of the master-watchmakers in person.
The defining moment in the progression towards our goal, and in the transformation of our activity from high jewellery to horology per se, was when we discovered a video named “Masters of Time: The World of Swiss Complicated Watches”. This documentary showcases a previously unseen microcosm of the independent artists known as “Cabinotiers”. We felt incredibly inspired by these watchmakers creating their own designs by hand, their unbelievable skills and the resulting wonderful mechanical timepieces. We admired the quality and precision of Philippe Dufour’s craft and Antoine Preziuso’s Stardust Tourbillon model of course, set with more than 2’000 diamonds. The latter felt especially close to our heart thanks to our original profession. It also sprung our inventiveness as a challenge of finding original ways to apply our jewellers’ expertise into the realm of horology, as well as to master more horologic complications for a higher form of our artistic expression.
From the start of our watchmaking undertaking, we sensed the impulse to “transgress” the boundaries between the two worlds (jewellery and horology), driven by the desire to transcend our initial area of competence for going beyond simply using jewellery only as a final decorative touch for a watch. Therefore, we rather set out to build on the convergence and complementarity of the two art forms so as to attain an even greater harmony between the aesthetic appeal and the technical refinement of our creations.
Skeletonizing and high-end horologic complications
The above-mentioned video equally constituted our first “meeting” with skeletonized watches. Unsurprisingly, this encounter proved to be a natural match for us: combining our artistic talents with the watchmaking craftsmanship in a perfect symbiosis of “beauty and mechanical art” to use Mr.Preziouso’s words.
We believe that skeletonized timepieces are the most suitable “canvas” for displaying our art, the exactitude and rigor of our craft. Even more importantly, we feel that it is the optimal means for sharing our passion with our customers: the heart of the mechanical watch is pulsating right in front of one’s eyes, revealing the deep core of our work in a welcoming way.
Our beginnings in the world of horology were far from easy though, given that we are both positioned outside of the watchmaking mainstream and outside of its geographic cradle. With no direct access to its movers and shakers, but with the investment of time and dedication joined by kind help from a handful of dedicated “fans” who opened professional doors for us, we were able to change our initial cadence from baby steps into leaps. The development of our enterprise has then followed a steady albeit moderate pace for different concurring reasons.
First of all, we have taken the time necessary to perfect our horologic savoir-faire, learning a lot by doing along the way- the only way to make things right in our perception. We have dedicated all our efforts into refining our watchmaking craft and carving out our own tools and components in order to express our creative potential to its fullest. This is essentially a never-ending endeavor, as with every new challenge and every new order for a bespoke watch, a new opportunity arises for us to learn and find original solutions. Paired with our constant effort for improvement, we are naturally led to be truly independent in more and more tasks.
Beginning with simply assembling different pre-fabricated watch parts, decorating them and setting the timepieces, we moved through finishing
and customization of the watch components up to their in-house realization. Today, we are proud to design and manufacture our proprietary
balance wheels, bridges, screws, hands, cases, strap buckles, and counting ... resulting in enhanced quality and uniqueness of our end product.
Concerning the calibers, the fundamental essence of a watch, we have opted to work with the best quality of course from the start – Swiss-made movements. Unitas base calibers at first as they proved most fitting for purposes of skeletonizing. Later on, we were honored the opportunity to meet with Mr. Christophe Claret and partner with him on our first Tourbillon timepieces. His amicable approach was instrumental in the development of our pursuit, reaching a new level of sophistication with the skeletonizing of his fine watchmaking complications.
Last but not least, we keep it an integral part of our philosophy to strive for ultimate perfection in our personal choice of materials, refined design as well as meticulous execution, whichall require enormous amount of hours spent with utmost care and absolute concentration (approximately 300 - 800 hours per timepiece). This is our consciously chosen priority and the reasons why we are currently realizing under 10 pieces of bespoke handmade watches per year.
Where we are headed
While retaining our singular blend of mechanical craftsmanship and artistic sensibility, our final objective is to reach complete autonomy in the whole watchmaking process, in the sense that we would like to eventually produce all of the watch components in-house. In our vision, staying “small” and independent does not preclude innovation, rather the opposite. Our independence is based, above all, on our craft - the fusion of handmade watchmaking and jewellery art. We do not plan to concentrate exclusively on the highly sophisticated complications, we like to instill beauty into a tourbillon as well as into more affordable calibers. Our main concern is the quality of the movement and the authenticity of the customer’s own dreams and ideas.
Indeed, our motivation primarily resides in the original requirements of our customers and their feedback. Our own novel concepts,
waiting to be materialized, are naturally cardinal to our drive too. Finally, we equally find infallible inspiration in the work of
other watchmakers and in our common projects.
Our ultimate goal of designing and manufacturing our own movements, and of becoming a fully-fledged member of the AHCI, may well be a long-term endeavor. In the meantime, and for the near future, we prepare interesting collaborations with other Swiss high-watchmakers and showcase timepieces (travelling exhibits not for sale). So you may wish to stay tuned...