“This guy made some movies,” says Felix Baumgartner, co-founder of independent Genevan high-horology brand Urwerk. On the day of our interview at The Hour Glass Malmaison store, the Swiss watchmaker takes us on a quick tour of Every Moment Counts, a travelling retrospective celebrating the brand’s 25th anniversary. Having shown us some key Urwerk timepieces through the years, Baumgartner has just revealed a display of poster-size photographs, hidden in shelving one must open to discover.
The “guy” Baumgartner has just pointed out in the photos is actor Robert Downey Jr, who has undoubtedly “made some movies” — an understatement, to say the least, made with Baumgartner’s characteristic dry humour. As part of his character Tony Stark (also known as Iron Man), the actor requested to wear Urwerk creations such as the UR-110 in red gold and a titanium UR-105 CT Iron.
Another A-list celebrity fan is basketball superstar Michael Jordan, who owns more than 10 of the brand’s watches, according to Baumgartner, who adds, “He is a real superfan.” When we ask in jest if these superstars get a discount, Baumgartner says emphatically, “No. And we don’t pay them (to wear our watches) either.”