150 years ago, in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy there was only one address for luxury watches: Carl Suchy & Söhne. The watchmaker and accredited purveyor to the court stood for perfect quality, precision and timeless elegance. Aristocrats, Artists, Industrials and even the emperor of Austria, Franz Josef I, were amongst his customers. Now we celebrate the comeback of this exclusive brand.
Carl Suchy, born in Prague in 1796, soon takes a life-changing decision: he becomes a watch making apprentice. After seven wandering years in Germany, Suchy returns to Prague and opens a clock manufacture in 1822. His goal, associating his passion for precision and design with his name, is achieved with the help of his four sons: With their entry into the business, Carl Suchy & Söhne soon becomes the most important watchmaker of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The oldest son Carl Suchy Junior establishes a pocket watch factory in the Swiss Watch Valley „La Chaux-de-Fonds“, his younger brother Hans opens a store in the historical center of Vienna. Suchy watches are desired objects across Austria’s borders, delight visitors and the press at world fairs such as Paris, and are essential accessories at the royal courts, aristocratic estates and the salons of Austria’s intellectual elite. Carl Suchy & Söhne is firmly positioned as Austria’s leading watchmaker before an involuntary creative break that started around 1914.
In 2016 Carl Suchy & Söhne is reestablished – the only luxury watch brand that combines Viennese elegance and Swiss precision.
Carl Suchy attending the 20th wedding anniversary procession of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Elisabeth (Sissi) in 1879.
This is the Austrian-Hungarian Emperor. He reigned from 1845 to 1910 and was known for being always on time, very likely because he was carrying a Suchy-pocketwatch stored in his Hemdbrust.
At the back of the watchcase the traditional elements of Loos’ design are translated into
a modern watch. The watch is powered by an adapted automatic Vaucher Fleurier Manufacture mechanism with
a fittingly decorated flywheel mass.
Design inspired by Adolf Loos can also be found at
the divide of bezel and casing.
Decoration is used sparingly and only emerges on second glance. Two different patterns that were developed exclusively for Carl Suchy are found on the inside of the watch-strap. Corvette Deployant, premium-quality buckle provides comfort and style. It plays with the contrast of matt glazing and light and displays Suchy’s emblem, the double-griffins, on the inside. The watch-strap is made of high-quality silk-matt leather, refined with black seam and a pinch of colour.
The Waltz N°1 is designed with Viennese elegance and Swiss precision. It takes seven months to make one Carl Suchy & Söhne Waltz N°1.
After a brief creative break of 100 years, Carl Suchy & Söhne is back. Secure your very personal „Waltz No 1“ from the first exclusive limited edition of Carl Suchy & Söhne. Download the ordering form here to own your Carl Suchy & Söhne Waltz No 1. There are only 22 signed and numbered of this limited first edition available. It takes 7 months to craft one Waltz No 1.
Once upon a time, Suchy was the most important reference for watch aficionados of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and the intellectual elite of Fin de Siécle Vienna. Now the long legacy of Carl Suchy & Söhne is brought back into the present.
Did Sigmund Freud look at his Suchy pocket watch when he wanted to know how much longer he would have to listen to his patient’s childhood memories? Did Gustav Klimt’s work inspire the beauty and perfection of Suchy clocks? Did the Suchys, after having closed their shop for the night, join the Viennese coffeehouse literati to enter into philosophical discussions?
Fact is, Carl Suchy & Söhne lived in exceptional times of industrial innovation and artistic creation.
We too strive for mindful decoration that fulfills a functional and emotional role. “Waltz No 1” follows an elegant and minimalistic design aesthetic with an emotional twist, a love for seamlessly combining sophisticated materials and a passion for the latest technology.
Carl Suchy & Söhne has a very rich history ever since Carl was born in 1796.
Carl Suchy is born in the historical centre of Prague.
Suchy completes his apprenticeship as a watchmaker at the famous German watchmaker Franz Lehner.
Years of travel through
Germany and Switzerland.
Carl Suchy marries Josephine Kroupa in Prague.
26-year-old Suchy opens his watch shop in the centre of Prague. His technically advanced pendulum and wall clocks lead to rapid success.
Their first son Carl Suchy Junior is born.
The second son Johann Anton is born, as well as Franz Josef I, the future emperor of Austria.
At the yearly Leipzig Trade Fair, which Suchy attends regularly, his products frequently win prizes: Suchy clocks match the market-leading English and Swiss models. Suchy’s third son, Anton Gottfried, is born.
On occasion of the coronation of emperor Ferdinand I Suchy equips the royal court in Prague with his clocks.
Suchy’s business is growing, by now he has 35 employees. He is one of the first watchmakers to expand internationally.
Suchy’s youngest son, Emanuel Suchy, is born. It is also the year of birth of the famous Austrian architect and city planner Otto Wagner.
Carl Suchy is appointed as the first and for many years the only watch purveyor to the court. Due to the fact that “his watches exceed highest expectations in regard to elegance and technical perfection”.
Suchy’s sons Carl and Hans complete their apprenticeship with the famous Czech watchmaker Josef Kosek. During their years of travel they study with the best watchmakers in Switzerland.
Coronation of Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria.
As Suchy’s sons join the parental business, it is renamed „Carl Suchy & Söhne” and becomes Austria’s most renowned clock factory.
Carl Suchy Junior founds a pocket watch factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, birthtown of le Corbusier. The factory doesn’t only supply watches to the family business, they are also exported to Great Britain.
Carl Suchy & Söhne clocks are regularly displayed at the world fairs in Paris, London and Vienna. The trade press recurringly announces them to be the best Austrian products.
The Austrian menswear label “Knize” is founded.
Artist Gustav Klimt and writer Arthur Schnitzler are born – both will have a tremendous influence on Viennese art
Suchy’s second son Hans opens a workshop in Rotenturmstraße 6 in the centre of Vienna. Johann Anton takes over the store in Prague. He is appointed purveyor to the court as well.
The Viennese Ring Road is opened. Austria’s first horse-tramway goes from the Viennese Schottentor to the suburb Hernals.
The carpet manufacturer Eduard Haas builds Vienna’s first department store in the immediate neighbourhood of Carl Suchy & Söhne store.
Founder Carl Suchy dies at age 70. His youngest son Emanuel takes over the workshop in Prague.
The Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauß has its premiere in Vienna.
The famous architects and designers Adolf Loos and Josef Hoffmann are born.
Emanuel Suchy founds and manages Prague’s first volunteer fire brigade.
Carl Suchy Junior attends the famous Makart procession on the Ring Road, celebrating the twentieth wedding anniversary of Emperor Franz Joseph I. and his wife Elisabeth. Suchy is proudly dressed as a watchmaker from the sixteenth century.
Sigmund Freud opens his practice in Vienna and develops the method of psychoanalysis.
The „Young Vienna Movement“ coins what is still known as the Viennese coffeehouse literature – the meetings and discussions of artists, writers and intellectuals in Viennese cafés shape the literary movement in and around Austria. Some of the most renowned members are Peter Altenberg, Arthur Schnitzler, Hugo von Hoffmannsthal and Stefan Zweig.
Emanuel Suchy receives the prestigious Knight’s Cross of the Imperial Order of Franz Joseph I for his great support of the Prague fire brigade.
Otto Wagner, one of the most influential architects of his times announces the end of the ornamental historicism – Jugendstil takes its place. Under the banner of modernism, philosophy, literature, music, art, design and architecture blossom.
Also Hans Suchy dies. His widow Therese takes over the shop in the Rotenturmstraße in Vienna. She is also honored as purveyor to the court.
Adolph Ervinka is the new owner of „Carl Suchy & Söhne“ in Prague. The store moves to the exclusive address Na Píkop in the center of the city.
With the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Carl Suchy & Söhne temporarily takes a creative break.
And now in 2016, it is time again – for Carl Suchy & Söhne!
Robert Punkenhofer is a creative pioneer with a track record of more than 20 years in international business and arts management. He is founding director of ART&IDEA, a nomadic consultancy at the crossroads of art, architecture and design. He has conceived and organised more than 100 exhibitions and special projects on 3 continents, amongst others the visionary Mur Island with Vito Acconci for Graz European Capital of Culture, the leading art festival Vienna Art Week, Austria’s successful participation at the World Fairs in Aichi, Japan, Zaragossa, Spain and Shanghai, China as well as Flow Festival, the first open space for science and culture in the Danube region. He has served as Director of the Vienna based Design Foundation and the Creative Industry Office at Austria’s Foreign Trade Organisation as well as most recently as Austrian Trade Commissioner to Spain. He is a member of the International Advisory Council at Princeton University/PLAS and visiting professor at New York University.
Graphic designer, professor and founder of Proxi, a design studio in Barcelona and Berlin. Specialised in brand and editorial design.
Product designer in Lausanne and Zürich. Lectures at the ECAL in the Master of Advanced Studies in Design for Luxury and Craftmanship.
Independent Watchmaker in 3rd Generation. References: Tiffany & Co. Member of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants.
Carl Suchy & Söhne
wishes to thank the following advisors and friends
for their ongoing support:
Julia Culen, Karin Novozamsky, family Punkenhofer , Rudolf Pendl, Christoph Brunmayr, Robert Pluim, Deborah van Mourik, Salomea Krobath, Robert Treichler, Andrés Sterba, Martin Ohneberg, Andreas Kailich, Alexander Ruckensteiner.
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