The Sydney International Watch Fair Showcases Some Of The Best Independent Brands From Switzerland: Part 1

by Matt Clymo

Last week nine independent Swiss brands were on show at the Sydney International Watch Fair: Artisans of Time and Watch Advice was there to go hands on with all the pieces on show!

When you think of Swiss watch brands, the usual big names come to mind. However, there are so many great independent brands that are paving their own way in the industry that you may or may not be aware of. And we’re not talking about the big independents, like MB&F, or FP Journe, but brands like Speake Marin, Angelus, and Arnold & Son to name a few. If you haven’t heard of them, don’t worry, we have a feeling over the next few years you will start hearing a lot more about them as the indie watch scene grows here in Australia.

The Consul-General of the Consulate General of Switzerland in Sydney Opening The Fiar

For most people, there are not many opportunities to be able to sit down one-on-one with the CEO or founders of a high-end watch brand, try on their pieces, and talk to them about the brand, the story behind the brand and how the watches are made and what makes them special. After all, this is what can make you fall in love with a brand and the watches they make!

As there is a fair bit to cover in one article, we’ll be covering the first three of nine brands in this article, part one of three. Enjoy!


Angelus is one of the better-known brands, as they have made movements for many mainstream brands in the past, but now specialise in very well-crafted sportier timepieces. Founded in 1891, Angelus has been responsible for many firsts in watchmaking, such as the first production chronograph to feature a date in 1942. Fast forward to 2011, renowned manufacture, La-Joux-Perret buys the brand and starts its next phase of Angelus’s watchmaking for the 21st Century.

The Angelus La Fabrique with monopusher chronograph derived from the original designed for Doctors and Nurses

Today, Angelus is known for its movement manufacture, the finishing and skill that goes into their movements and producing some modern and contemporary pieces in materials like titanium, gold, carbon, and producing unique timepieces that have some high-end complications, like the U30 which houses an in-house movement with a tourbillon, 30-minute flyback split-second chronograph, power reserve indicator and skeletonise movement.

The Angelus Flying Tourbillon in Gold and Carbon

Whilst this piece wasn’t on show sadly, there were plenty of others, namely their core model lines such as the Chronodate in Titanium, the smaller and more subtle La Fabrique, and their gold and carbon Flying Tourbillon.

To see more Angelus watches, head to for their range. Hardy Brothers in Sydney and Brisbane are the local retailer for Angelus in Australia. Head to for local availability and pricing.

Arnold & Son

Arnold & Son is one of the oldest watch brands in the world, dating back to 1764, almost 260 years. Whilst Arnold & Son calls Switzerland home, it was started by one of the greats of British watchmaking, John Arnold who was responsible for the very first marine chronometers that could determine longitude whilst at sea using astronomical markers. He is also the reason we use the term “chronometer” today, as his marine instruments and subsequently, his pocket watches were known for their accuracy.

This heritage can still be found in Arnold & Son watches, and many of their models take their inspiration from their nautical and astronomical roots, featuring unique moon phase complications and naming conventions. Some of the standout pieces on show which can be seen below are the Luna Magna Metorite in both Platinum or Rose Gold with a full spherical moon that rotates within the movement to showcase the moon phase accurately. Both feature a meteorite dial, with the Rose Gold variant blued out to give it a much more subtle look.

Another stand out from the brand was the Perpetual Moon in gold, with a moon phase disc that is fully luminous due to the solid disc of lume covered by a thin layer of Mother of Pearl crafted to mimic the surface of the moon. This and the lacquered sunray dial that catches the light will create a talking point for many.

To see more Angelus watches, head to for their range. HBP Milestone Pty LTD are the local distributers in Australia


Bianchet is probably one of the newer brands that were on show. Whilst it doesn’t have a history dating back to the 1700’s, it does have passion and innovation at its core. Bianchet was born out of love, with the founders Rodolfo and Emmanuelle Festa Bianchet creating the brand in 2017. Rodolfo, a former Forex trader and app developer who loved watches decided to sell his business and follow his dream of making high-end watches and in 2019, developed the first prototype that was presented at Bazelworld.

Bianchet infuses the Golden Ratio principle, the rule that dictates beauty in nature and design, into their watches, as well as allowing them to follow form and function. They’re designed to hug the wrist with their curved case and Tonneau case design, and being incredibly lightweight due to their titanium and carbon construction makes them perfect to wear every day. With only a couple of model lines, the key being the Flying Tourbillon Grande Date, you don’t have to worry about trying to find the right model, you just need to choose the colour that suits you!

We had the pleasure of trying on all their current and past models, and must say, they are easy to wear and super comfortable, almost to the point we forgot we were wearing them, especially the Flying Tourbillon Grande date (pictured above) in several colours, and just look at that case back! And below, the Carbon Titanium model in green.

For more information on Biancheet, head to their site, to view their current timepieces. HBP Milestone Pty LTD are the local distributors in Australia.

Stay tuned for Part Two of the coverage over the next few days where we will look at Cvstos, Cyrus and Mauron Musy.

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