Here's an interesting little story: Philippe Dubois & Fils, one of the oldest names in watchmaking and, until recently, one of the more conservative and generally anonymous brands around, has just completed that most cutting-edge and social media savvy of projects, a crowdfunding drive that saw some 266 investors contributing SFr.1.5million towards the brand's modernisation.
Buying into little more than the optimism of Dubois owner, Thomas Steinemann, the investors might be onto something. The new watches that are being produced as part of Steinemann's modernisation drive tick lots of the right boxes (many of the investors having also pre-ordered), while the Dubois team are also dusting down unused movements from decades ago.
The story is also generating a good deal of publicity, which has done no harm at all: "No other watch factory ever had such a restart. We have set an example!" says Steinemann. In retrospect, there could be few crowdfunding projects more likely to succeed, Dubois' target market having both funds and a willingness to get involved emotionally as well as financially.
Further information: www.duboisfils.ch