Wednesday, May 14, 1997

Beyer Jewelers & Museum Celebrating 250 Years In Business: Zurich, Switzerland [Part 5 of 5]

[Part 5 of 5]
Sir Edmund Hillary's Mt. Everest Rolex
At Home In The Beyer Museum

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sir Edmund Hillary was rumored to have worn when he summited Mount Everest in 1953 is part of the permanent collection in the Beyer Museum in Zurich. The reason I say 'rumored' is after many years of research and scholarship I have yet to find any data to support this as being factual. 

Sir Edmund Hillary's Rolex Close-Up
Rolex DEEP-SEA SPECIAL Prototype
The Rolex DEEP-SEA SPECIAL Prototype is one of the rarest and most collectible Rolex watches on earth. Rolex only made 7 prototypes and the Beyer Museum has the one pictured below in their permanent collection.
Magnificent Wristwatch Collection
The Beyer Museum has an amazing wrist-watch collection that covers all the major historical brands and they have a strong Rolex collection as witnessed by the stainless Rolex Daytona pictured below. The four following chronographs were part of a Chronograph exhibition in the past.
Patek Phillipe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
[Reference 3970]
Beyer has always had a very strong relationship with Patek Philippe and they have an amazing selection of Patek Philippe wrist-watches, including this complicated beauty.
Patek Phillipe Chronograph
[Reference 130 from 1959]
This next vintage Patek Philippe chronograph [Reference 130 from 1959] is a real beauty!!!
1945 Pierce Chronograph
Made In Switzerland
The Beyer Museum not only has an amazing collection of well known brands, but also a collection of amazing designs like this vintage chronograph from Pierce caught me eye when I was going through the Beyer archive.
1660 Renaissance Rock-Crystal Neck Watch
Made In Switzerland
Before pocket watches became popular, the first watches were worn around the neck like a neckalce and this is a fine example of an early neck-watch.
1750 Golden Pocket Watch With Enamel Printing
Made In Paris
This a beautiful pocket watch from 1750 with a see through crystal front.
This next pocket watch caught me eye because of its beautiful complications. It was made in 1900.
The best way to see the amazing Beyer Museum is to take a trip to Zurich, and take in all the history yourself. Admission is 8 Swiss Francs which is approximately $7.50 U.S. To learn more about Beyer please click here.

Monday, April 14, 1997

Beyer Jewelers & Museum Celebrating 250 Years In Business: Zurich, Switzerland [Part 4 of 5]

[Part 4 of 5]

Rene Beyer is the current CEO of Beyer and his father, Theodor Beyer was a huge watch and clock collector and horological history expert. Theodor Beyer was a very lovable man and his nickname was Teddy Bear.

Teddy as his friends called him, put together a mind-boggling collection of significant historical clocks and watches which are part of the permanent collection in the Beyer Museum which is located under the Beyer store in Zurich, Switzerland. Theodor Beyer began collecting watches and clocks for the Beyer private collection in 1940 and opened the Beyer Museum to the public in 1971.

1573 Renaissance Table Clock

The renaissance clock below is dated 1573 and is from Augsburg. It is amazing to think this was made 425 years ago!!!!

1640 Renaissance Automaton "Griffin" Table Clock

The renaissance automaton "Griffin: table clock pictured below is dated 1640 and it is from Augsburg. 1640!!!! That is just amazing!!!

1860 Marble Vase Clock

The "Cupid" marble vase clock below was made in Paris, France in 1960 and as you see the design with the spinning discs is incredible. Back in 1860 people really got into these amazing works of mechanical art to tell time.

1770 Table Clock With Planetarium

The planetarium clock pictured below is an absolute work of art. It was made in 1770 in Paris.

1571 Renaissance Table Clock From Nuremberg

This next clock is really elegant. It was made in 1571 in Nuremberg. The fascinating detail is that none of these clocks were made in Switzerland, yet they all ended up in there. If I understand it correctly, the Swiss watch industry really didn't take off until after World War II.

1780 Clock In A Vase From France

This next clock design is really fascinating. It was made in France from Niderviller China in 1780. I love how simple the design of the spinning hour and minute hands are. It is interesting to note than in the world of 1780 there were obviously no computers are world wide web; no MTV, or TV in general. No radio. In the world of 1780 the clock was one of the few mechanical mechanisms people could enjoy.

1925 Silver Early Art-Deco Clock

This next clock is a great example of early art-deco with an enamel painting. This clock was originally sold by Beyer, Zurich as you can see the designation on the painting.

Beyer Altier

Beyer has advanced expert watchmakers on its staff that repair and maintain all the magnificent clocks, pocket-watches, and wrist-watches in the Beyer Museum as well as servicing watches for customers. In the photo below we see Rene (Seated) who is the head of the Beyer Altier. (Altier in English means a studio that repairs and restores.)

In the photo above, we see Rene working with a customer on repairing his antique pocket watch which is also seen in the photo below. This special pocketwatch plays music!!! Beyer also makes their trademark jewelry in their Altier where they have a staff of 10 dedicated fine jewelry designers, goldsmiths, craftsmen and watchmakers along with apprentices.

Friday, March 14, 1997

Beyer Jewelers & Museum Celebrating 250 Years In Business: Zurich, Switzerland [Part 3 of 5]

[Part 3 of 5]

The photo below is of the storefront of Beyer in Zurich, Switzerland. The facade of Beyer has remained unchanged since 1927. Zurich, Switzerland is renowned for being immaculate.

The two ladies below work in the Rolex department at the Beyer store. Beyer has an amazing selection of Rolex watches as well as Patek Philippe and many of the worlds other top brands.

This next photo below is of Max Kung who is a famous Swiss journalist who underwent watchmaker training at Beyer and then wrote an article about his experience.

Magnificent Jewelry

Beyer sells beautiful ladies jewelry like the gorgeous necklace on the Beyer model pictured below.

Beyer has their own jewelry design and manufacturing facility where they make beautiful trademark jewelry. In the photo below we see a Beyer model wearing the Beyer Layla ring, necklace and matching earings.

In the photo below we see a magnificent ladies butterfly broach which Beyer sells

Friday, February 14, 1997

Beyer Jewelers & Museum Celebrating 250 Years In Business: Zurich, Switzerland [Part 2 of 5]

[Part 2 of 5]

The photo below was taken in 1860 and the man sitting down is Stephan Beyer. Stephan Beyer is surrounded by his five sons and his son Theodor Beyer who started the Beyer Chronometrie store is pictured right of center with the pork-chop sideburns.

Beyer 1910

The three photos below of Beyer Chronometrie were taken in 1910 and in this first image we see Adelrich Beyer pictured on the left wearing the trench-coat. (Adelrich Beyer is Rene Beyer's Paternal great-grandfather). Notice the Patek Philippe name on front of the store.

Patek Philippe

Beyer has had an amazing relationship with Patek Philippe since 1842. If you are not familiar with Patek Philippe, it is considered in many ways to be the Rolls Royce of watches, much in the way Rolex would be considered the Mercedes Benz or watches.

The most amazing part of the Beyer relationship with Patek Philippe is that the great grand-parents of the the current CEO Rene Beyer were colleagues in the Patek Philippe workshop where they met and fell in love in 1880.

Beyer 1927

In 1927 Beyer moved from the location in the building above to the corner as we see in the photo below, where Beyer has remained until today.

Beyer Family 1930

The photo below is of the Beyer family in 1930 and shows young Theodor "Teddy Bear" Beyer with his mother and father. Theodor was born in 1926 and is the father of Rene who runs Beyer today.

Beyer Started Selling Rolex In 1932

Beyer became a Rolex authorized dealer in 1932 and have had an amazingly successful relationship ever since. Over the years Rolex made special models that featured the Beyer designation printed on the dial as seen below.

–The Founder Of Rolex–
Hans Wilsdorf with The Beyer Family

Hans Wilsdorf founded Rolex in London, England in 1908 and moved its headquarters to Geneva in 1928. Hans developed a relationship with Theodor Beyer and Beyer started selling Rolex watches in 1932. The letter below is from Hans Wilsdorf to Theodor Beyer and was written on August 19, 1933.

The photo below is from 1954 and shows Hans Wilsforf, with Emile Beyer and her son Theodor Beyer who went on to run Beyer. Theodor Beyer went to work at Beyer in 1946 and he is the father of the current CEO, Rene Beyer.

Beyer Storefront 1965

As we see in the photo below the Beyer storefront in 1965 had changed very little from 1927.

Beyer Interior 1970

As we see in the photo below, the Beyer store was very stylish and chic in 1970. Groovy Baby, Yeah!!!

Ursula Andres 1976

Beyer is an unusually discreet establishment, and many famous people have shopped at Beyer over the years. This includes Eric Clapton, Harrison Ford, Ursula Andres, Elton John, Pierce Brosnan, Horst Tappert, Jerry Lewis and even the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Rolling Stones.

Rolex CEO Andre Heiniger

The Beyer family was close with Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, and when Rene Beyer was a young man Rolex CEO Andre Heiniger gave him the stainless steel Rolex Oysterquartz Datejust in the picture below.

The Beyer Family In 1992

In the photo below we see Rene Beyer with his mother Annette and father Theodor Beyer. Theodor "Teddy Bear" Beyer was renowned around Zurich, Switzerland for being an extremely nice and generous man. Theodor Beyer was also responsible for bringing the private Beyer collection to share with the public when he oversaw the design and opening of the Beyer Museum in 1971. Theodor passed away in 2002, leaving his son Rene in charge.

The Beyer Family Today

In the photo below we see Annette Beyer with her son Rene Beyer who is the CEO of Beyer, Zurich. Annette Beyer was the person who came up with the idea for Beyer to start selling and manufacturing ladies jewelry. The jewelry division has been extremely successful over the years. Annette Beyer still visits the store regularly to share her insight with her son Rene.