Classic Style- JS Watch Co.

Written by the Online Editor. Posted in Profiles

JS Watch Co. Reykjavík has time on their side

In a world in which big-box stores and mass production have long since become the norm, the idea of opening a small, family business specialising in limited-edition, handmade products may seem more like a nostalgic daydream than good business sense. Nevertheless, in 2005, friends Sigurdur Gilbertsson, Julius Heidarsson, and Grimkell Sigurthorsson decided to take a leap of faith and founded JS Watch Co. Reykjavík, Iceland’s first watch manufacturer.

The idea may have been idealistic Iceland certainly doesn’t have a long tradition of quality timepiece production but the founders had good reason to be optimistic. They would be joined in their endeavour by Sigurdur’s father, Gilbert Gudjonsson, a master watchmaker with nearly 50 years of experience. Gilbert started apprenticing as a watchmaker at the tender age of 16 and soon discovered a real passion for the craft, often electing to skip summer holidays and work long night and weekend hours in order to hone his skills. So many years later, once Gilbert had long owned and run his own successful watch repair shop in Reykjavík, the idea of launching a brand of Icelandic designed, Icelandic manufactured specialty watches didn’t seem so crazy. In fact, it seemed like a lot of fun.

Starting as something of a luxury brand, JS Watch Co.’s first collection was made in an exclusive batch of just 100 watches. It sold out in less than six months. Following this success, Gilbert and his partners went on to successfully design, manufacture, and sell out of five more limited edition collections. JS Watch Co. pieces were designed with longevity in mind, they were made to be heirlooms, Gilbert explains, durable watches that could be passed from one generation to another and the shop’s attention to craftsmanship and quality manufacturing were quickly making the brand a household name in Iceland.

Today, JS Watch Co. Reykjavík offers a dozen elegant and classically styled watch collections, each of which was designed by master designer Grimkell in cooperation with the team and then hand-constructed by Gilbert and Sigurdur in their workshop at Laugavegur 62 in downtown Reykjavík. All of the collections offer their own unique detailing and specifications, and are suitable for wearers in various walks of life. For instance, there’s the Sif North Atlantic Rescue Timer (Sif N.A.R.T.), which is actually the official watch of the Icelandic Coast Guard. Still stylish with its custom decorations, blue screws, and Rhodium-plated finish,this is a practical piece, too: it features luminous numerals for easy visibility in poor weather and is water-resistant at depths of up to 1000 metres.

All of the company’s timepieces do have some things in common: for one, their custom-decorated Top Grade Swiss movements, produced by renowned Swiss manufacturers Soprod and ETA, according to JS Watch Co.’s own specifications. Moreover, after construction, all of the movements go through two weeks of testing and quality control to ensure that every single piece is up to the company’s exacting standards. And in the end, it’s this patient attention to detail and quality that ensure that JS Watch Co. Reykjavík’s clientele will keep coming back. Twelve years after their first collection launched, time is still definitely on their side.


For more information

Unique in the World: Pforzheim’s Jewellery Museum

Written by Isabel Schmidt-Mappes, English translation: Sabine Goodman . Posted in Profiles

Exquisite jewellery from antiquity to the present day and themed special exhibitions

Whether mythical or mystical, whether emphasising a person’s status or worn merely for ornamental purposes, jewellery has a long tradition in all world cultures. Since the advent of mankind, people have adorned themselves with necklaces, rings, face and body paint, pendants, belts and headgear in forms and shapes that are as disparate as the materials used. Pforzheim’s Jewellery Museum in the Reuchlinhaus building is the world’s only museum devoted exclusively to jewellery and its history.

Some 2,000 exhibits illustrate the art of jewellery-making over a period of five millennia, from antiquity to the present day. These include superlative creations from Persia and Egypt, artistically and delicately crafted Etruscan jewellery, lavishly sumptuous specimens from the Baroque period, outstanding pieces from the Art Nouveau period, as well as a renowned collection of modern jewellery.

Doing it Right

Written by Jamie. Posted in Profiles

 "Social Sustainability Leader-MENA Region Reinsurance Partner of the Year-Americas"

The current global trend to integrate sustainability principles into business processes has gone well beyond the concerns of reputation management. Social, economic and environmental upheavals in the 21st century have led businesses across the world to prioritise sustainability at the heart of their business agendas.  The idea that the social responsibility of a business is limited to contributing a portion of profits to community development initiatives is no longer a sufficient means to tackle the sustainable development agenda. 

As the leading financial services corporation in the MENA region, EFG Hermes is committed to leading by example and communicating the importance of sustainable business practices both internally and externally. Management has clearly articulated that achieving sustainability goals goes hand in hand with achieving our operational targets; thus, we have taken significant steps to establish a business model that can strike a balance between responsible economic growth and sustainability-oriented business practice. 

Private Equity For Your Wallet And Your Heart

Written by Henry Martin. Posted in Profiles

Xeon International focuses on value creation capacities in major International markets. Its focus on business value creation is supported by global experience in a wide range of industries. Xeon looks at early stage emerging markets with good headroom for development, by selecting high-quality investments with strong growth and integration potential. It has a strong focus on socially responsible corporate investment. In the interview below, Yves Duponselle and Giancarlo d’Elia of Xeon describe how they are catering to a new generation of socially responsible investors. 

1 Corporate social responsibility has emerged as a prominent theme in the wake of successive financial crises. What is the next-generation investor calling for? 

YD: We have observed that in today’s market, a third-millennium investor typology has emerged, focusing on investing in projects that benefit society. That caused us to rethink value creation today. We went back to the fundamentals of the value creation process, and the cornerstone of our thinking was to redefine the terms of good investment. We concluded that we needed to expand the profit generation objective to include other considerations.

Treasury Trove

Written by CEO Martin Bellin discuss the company and its tm5 software. Posted in Profiles

Founded in 1998 in Ettenheim, Germany, BELLIN has over 100 employees focused on creating solutions that reflect the pragmatic, efficient nature of German engineering. The company leverages its core strength – its knowledge of treasury – to build solutions that work locally and apply globally. Its solutions are designed to be easy to use by both treasurers and non-treasurers and permit as many users as the treasury has need of, at no extra cost. This increases involvement of subsidiaries with the treasury, automates global data collection, enforces group-wide rules and compliance, and enhances transparency. In the interview below, Bellin founder and CEO Martin Bellin discuss the company and its tm5 software, a modular platform that encourages the distribution of workload so that the central treasury gets better numbers, faster.

Hamburg Metropolitan Region: Northern Germany's trade and industry centre

Written by Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, Chief Executive Officer of HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation. Posted in Profiles

The concept of a strong regional alliance has proven successful, and the economic facts speak for themselves: with its innovative strength and economic expertise. The Hamburg Metropolitan Region does not only excel in Germany, but is also considered to be one of the strongest economic regions in Europe. The region’s economic potential and infrastructure continue to promise a favourable outlook for the future. Forward-looking industries such as aviation, renewable energies, life sciences, logistics and the food industry generate a growing labour market, qualified professionals and global repute.

International top brands such as Airbus, OTTO, Tchibo, Beiersdorf and Olympus characterise the region’s economic landscape and offer attractive jobs. But the Hamburg Metropolitan Region is also a key player in the science sector: the region is home to 36 universities, and its renowned research institutions employ more than 10,000 scientists

All Roads Lead to Hessen

Written by Fergal Hogan. Posted in Profiles

“Given the largest European electronics market exists in Germany, we believe that having a presence in Darmstadt plays a key role in strengthening our market position”, says Oliver Mihm, the Regional President of the EMEA region for Plexus Corp. Plexus is an industry-leading provider of electronics engineering, manufacturing and aftermarket solutions; serving OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) out of their 26 facilities across the globe. Plexus opened its Darmstadt Design Center in March 2011 by leasing office space in the Europa Arkaden building. Consistent with Plexus’ other global Design Centers, this space hosts engineering offices and laboratory facilities enabling Plexus to provide engineering solutions to customers in higher complexity markets.

Barents RE Finds its Niche

Written by the Online Editor. Posted in Profiles

One of the world’s foremost independent reinsurance groups, Barents Re offers a range of services linked to the structuring and execution of reinsurance and other forms of risk transfer. It is one of the world’s premier specialty reinsurance groups, with a particular focus on large products and specialty financial risk structures. Customers include most of the world's major insurance and reinsurance companies as well as financial institutions and global corporations. Here, we interview Barents’ chief underwriting officer Gerardo Garcia, who has over 18 years of experience in the insurance and reinsurance market and has been an advisor for several insurance companies and reinsurance brokerage firms.

Vienna on Top

Written by the Online Editor. Posted in Profiles

Interview with Gerhard Hirczi Managing Director of Invest in Vienna

For more than 30 years, Vienna Business Agency has actively supported the development of Vienna as a business location. As the first contact point for national and international companies, it offers financial support, real estate and consulting. Its goal is to strengthen Viennese companies and their innovative activities as well as the sustainable modernisation of Vienna as a business location in order to expand its international competitiveness. It supports Viennese businesses whose company investments can be financed by the City of Vienna. Its programs, by way of grants, are mainly targeted at small- and medium-sized enterprises as well as start-ups.

Bank on Chile

Written by the Online Editor. Posted in Profiles

Interview with Daniel Subelman A. Managing Director Head of Capital Markets Banco Penta

Based in Santiago, Banco Penta provides commercial banking and other services to large companies and corporations in Chile. It operates in two areas: Investment Banking, and Company and Corporate Banking. The bank offers various products and services, including mutual and investment funds, shares, term and demand deposits, fixed-rate and derivative instruments, foreign currency, and investment advisory services, as well as foreign investment and portfolio management services to high-net-worth clients and institutional investors.


CEO Insight,
245 Shakespeare House, Shakespeare Road,
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7924 9908