BOLD TO THE BONE: How an independent Swiss watchmaker is changing the rules of the game. - The Texas Developer

BOLD TO THE BONE: How an independent Swiss watchmaker is changing the rules of the game.

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In every generation there are people who dare to go outside the standard to achieve something unique, we know when we are next to one of them because there is a special quality about their persona, an aura if you will, of unwavering determination. These people are the driving force behind change.

For Cyril Ratel, a young and determined Swiss entrepreneur, this is a way of life that expands way beyond words and became an inspiration to create, to explore and to define success as the sum of our choices…and so, over a decade ago, Ratel Geneve was born.

What makes this such a riveting story is the fact that unlike most established watch brands, launched by multiple partners with vast capital investments and in some cases sold off to major luxury corporations, Ratel Geneve was founded by one man with a vision and remains a family owned, completely independent house of timepiece craftsmanship that manufactures no more than a thousand watches per year.

To compete in today´s market is not easy. Things have changed. The economy is not what it used to be when the brand was first launched and the smart watch revolution is a threat that lingers on every mechanical watchmaker´s mind, however, discerning consumers are setting new trends as well.

A very clear sense of independent thinking and desire for inimitability defines the luxury conscious consumer that Ratel Geneve appeals to, with the internet being a key focus point for the company as they have developed an exceptional Instagram presence (@RatelGeneve) and launched a fully functional online retail platform ( where customers from around the globe can purchase exclusive pieces in a fast and reliable way.

Una publicación compartida de Ratel Geneve (@ratelgeneve) el

It´s clear that Mr. Ratel understands the mindset of today´s consumer and his brand has accomplished what many set out to do but not many achieve: bridging the gap between the pride of ownership associated with a fine swiss watch, and the incessant advancement of technology along with its clear impact on the buying habits of this generation.

As an independent watchmaker and businessman, the road hasn´t always been easy for Cyril Ratel; Changing economic landscapes and fierce competitors with limitless economic resources have been real challenges to overcome, but the young entrepreneur has managed to prevail, time and time again by virtue of two key assets: superior product quality and a clear understanding of lifestyle marketing.

His watches are coveted by some of the world´s most successful athletes, entertainers and businesspeople. In Europe, star players for legendary clubs such as Real Madrid (Karim Benzema), Bayern Munich (Arturo Vidal) and former Arsenal (Johan Djourou) and Liverpool stars (Djibril Cissé) to name a few. On a global scale, the famous singer and philanthropist Akon has been a friend of the brand and has been known to select a variety of pieces from Ratel´s new VI Degrees collection for himself, his family and close friends.

Through the years, Cyril Ratel has made of adventure and creativity his way of life. His goal was to create a brand that would speak to the people who are always on the look-out for the extraordinary, and so, his tenacity is an example of the customer his watches attract: somebody who doesn´t take no for an answer.