The story of one of the world’s most unique watches
Our Watchmaker, Rick Brownbill, began his career by walking into a local jewelry store, looking for any type of work, in 1972. After discovering Rick’s keen interest in electronics, the owner – a goldsmith by trade – suggested a three-year course in Watchmaking, where electronic watches were just beginning to be explored.
Having graduated near the top of his class, by 1977 Rick was ready to open his own watch repair business. Along with a partner who was also a watchmaker, Rick co-founded a trade, or wholesale, repair business which eventually serviced over 20 jewelry stores in Northern Ontario, Canada.
Fast forward almost forty years to 2015. Rick has worked continually in his trade for all this time, doing a stint as an employee, and then establishing a new retail business in 1997. Rick constantly was amazed at how blessed he was to have walked into that small jewelry store that fateful day. How could it be that, having no background, or family connection to the jewelry industry, he had found his life purpose and career? Was it God’s will? Karma? Fate?
One evening, while browsing internet auction sites for unusual watches and clocks to restore for his business, he came across a listing for an antique floor clock bearing the maker’s name: Brownbill. Seeing his family name on an old clock piqued his interest and he spent the better part of a day exploring ancestry web sites, searching out any family history. What he found changed his life and planted a seed in his heart for future generations.
Henry Brownbill, Rick’s fifth Great Grandfather, was a famous watchmaker and silversmith during the later part of the 18th century. Henry founded his first business in the Highgate Street of Leeds, Yorkshire in 1777. Even though Rick’s family history had been lost, it seems that there was something in his DNA that made watchmaking the trade which he was born into.
Rick and his wife, Aime, were soon able to acquire various pieces which Henry had made that survive today in their shop, Perfect Timing. There is something about knowing that you own a piece of history – especially family history – which draws your thoughts to the future. You begin to wonder what your legacy will be two hundred years from now. I wonder if Henry ever thought that watchmaking would be alive and well in his family in the twenty-first century?
In 2015, Rick and Aime knew that it was time for them to design a legacy that would serve future generations. And thus, was Reichart Watch established.
Every Reichart watch is designed with future generations in mind. All Reichart watches are mechanical, with no electronic parts to fail, or become obsolete. Every model is classic in looks and will be as functional five generations from now as it is today. Rick purposefully chose to have each piece made in small batches at an atelier in Solothurn, Switzerland in order to garner the prestigious “Swiss Made” label. Each limited edition Reichart watch is individually numbered and registered in our database for future researchers.
Today, Reichart watches are available exclusively from Perfect Timing of Orillia, Ontario. Tomorrow???