Founded in 2006, Cecil Purnell is a niche independent brand which has rapidly succeeded to assume a seat in the front row, amongst the best watchmakers in the world, thanks to its unique philosophy based on respect for know-how and tradition of the watchmaking art, leading it to produce only Tourbillon movements.
As a child, Jonathan Purnell remembers how he spent hours admiring his grand-father Cecil dismantle and reassemble many timepieces. The latter was fascinated by the movements’ intricacies, especially the tourbillon, which he believed to be the epitome of high-end watchmaking. He transmitted his passion to his grandson, who was in turn charmed by the watchmaking art.
Mr. Jonathan Purnell
After 35 years experience in the watch industry appreciating the best horology brands, Jonathan Purnell decided to make a dream reality: having his grandfathers name amongst the best world manufactures. Cecil Purnell’s creation is obviously a tribute to the man who taught Jonathan to appreciate the finest in watchmaking.
This dream came to life thanks to a partnership with Stéphane Valsamides, a connoisseur of horology who also shares values such as the respect of tradition and excellence. This philosophy, as well as the wish to create unique collectors items with strong identities based on handcrafted methods, naturally leads the brand to the full dedication to Tourbillon movements.
Invented in 1795 by Abraham Louis Breguet, the Tourbillon represents a watchmaking know-how reference: it is considered the heart of the watch. The only Swiss brand dedicated to creating exclusively high-end Tourbillons movements, Cecil Purnell sees itself as a necessary instrument to produce distinctive horology pieces of the utmost quality.
While most of newer watchmaking brands choose to outsource the fabrication of their movements, Jonathan knows that in order to be recognized as one of the best watchmakers in the world, it is essential to control the entire creation process to ensure the unparalleled quality of their timepieces. Therefore, the brand surrounds itself by watchmaking experts such as Fabien Lamarche who has created watches for many luxury brands.
Since 2011, Cecil Purnell is also very proud to manufacture its own caliber, allowing them to get the micromanufacture status and giving it an advantage towards the other brands. This status provides Cecil Purnell with an independence, which enables it to fully dedicate itself to the principles guiding the niche brand: respect for traditional know-how, innovation and devotion to the true values of fine watchmaking. The brand launches approximately one caliber per year. In 2014, Cecil Purnell presents its 5th caliber, synonymous as with every new concept, of quality and originality. The Twin-Tourbillon mechanism places the brand in rare company.
Cecil Purnell deliberately limits its production, giving priority to the quality of handcrafted work, precision and reliability of its watches. “We try to portray our watches as artistic pieces rather than mere timepieces,” says Jonathan Purnell (article from The Peak. “The Heart of Time”. December 2014). In its exclusive special series of no more than 10 pieces intended to become icons, promising people of acquiring more than just a watch, an exceptional watchmaking piece. Each watch is a reflection of this independent brand’s personality, possessing a strong visual identity, which makes it easily recognizable. To emphasize this sentiment of uniqueness, Cecil Purnell watches are customizable by special order in limited edition.
In November 2012 the brand announced the opening of its first mono-brand flagship store in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where Jonathan Purnell chose to settle 18 years ago.
Source: Cecil Purnell