The Geneva-based luxury watch manufacturer Urwerk ranks among the most innovative manufacturers in Switzerland. Their creations combine handcraft skills that have been maintained across gener-ations with the possibilities afforded by leading-edge technology. It's a typical Swiss recipe that Otto Hofstetter AG is also committed to. And the latest example: the Cappello design for preforms.

“I'm fascinated by the precision and sophistication with which the individual parts of the movements are made, and by the innovative drive with which the young pioneers repeatedly dare to break the rules of watchmaking that are commonly held to be set in stone.” Otto Hofstetter, CEO of Otto Hofstetter AG, is not talking about his injection moulds, but is expressing his fascination for the watches made by Urwerk.

«The Swiss luxury watch brand Urwerk upholds masterly watchmaking skills without any compromises.»Otto Hofstetter, CEO Otto Hofstetter AG

Committed to precision.
“Our watches are unique because each one has been designed as an original. This makes them valuable and rare. Above all else, we seek to move beyond the traditional horizons of watchmaking and explore new dimensions.” Martin Frei, responsible for the design of the new timepiece, helps to make this possible. “I come from a world of total creative freedom and don't have a sense of allegiance to traditional shapes. It allows me to draw my inspiration from my entire cultural heritage.” If it were down to the opinion of Otto Hofstetter, the young watch manufacturer has already achieved this in a masterly fashion.

A newcomer with old values.
Urwerk comprises the visions and conceptions of both founding partners and turns the eccentric creations into sensational watchmaking artistry. For Felix Baumgartner, a watchmaker as his father and grandfather had also been, time literally runs through his arteries. As a model student at the watchmaking school in Schaffhausen, Felix learnt the secret language of minute repetition, the tourbillon and the perpetual calendar right from scratch. Martin Frei is the art-istic antithesis to the technical knowledge of his partner. At the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Martin studied every shape of visual artistic expression and progressed to become an up-and-coming artist. When both men met by pure coincidence, they discovered their mutual fascination for time measurement. They spent hours analyzing the differences between the watches they had seen in shops and their visions.

Inspiration that goes beyond the industry.
During the history of their still young company, the Geneva-based powerhouse of ideas has developed watch models that are held in high esteem within the industry. One of the most unconventional watches of all time must be the UR-202 Turbine Automatic. It consists of a novel design for an automatic watch movement in conjunction with two fans, as well as an entirely new housing design, face and displays.

«Cutting-Edge Technology and traditional handcraft skills from the basis of every decisive innovation.»Otto Hofstetter, CEO Otto Hofstetter AG

“We are committed to progress, but without sacrificing the traditions and time-honoured craftsmanship inherent in fine watchmaking.” This declaration by Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei shows the strong parallels between the philosophy of the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer and that of Otto Hofstetter AG. And it also provides an insight into why Otto Hofstetter Junior is such a devotee of Urwerk.

Success with Cappello.
Combining cutting-edge technology with traditional handcraft skills in order to allow innovations to develop is also one of the strengths of Otto Hofstetter. This is evident in the latest example: “Cappello”.

Cappello design is a revolutionary and worldwide patented preform technology that can be employed for every possible finished shape. The big advantage of the innovation: This novel preform with its special base geometry facilitates raw materials savings of 3 to 5 % of the total weight, guarantees uniform – if not superior – stress distribution across the eventual bottle base and therefore a lower tendency towards stress corrosion cracking.

Exemplary teamwork.
Cappello is a joint development between the Italian Concordia Development and Otto Hofstetter AG. Since being cert-ified by PTI Europe and their application for a patent, notable customers from across the globe have already made use of this raw materials saving technology. The fact that only minor changes to the existing infrastructure are necessary makes a return-on-investment period of 6 to 12 months a given.

Small detail resulting in major advantages.
Thanks to the novel shape based on the Cappello design the preform base is 15 to 20 % lighter than that of a conventional preform. Moreover, the base is markedly more suitable to be stretched to its final shape. It must be emphasized that only the preform’s base geometry is affected by the Cappello design and the weight reduction. All other parts of the preform retain the technical specifications of a standard preform.

Technology and craftsmanship.
Otto Hofstetter AG participated in the Cappello development in two ways. On the one hand, the company supported the Italian partner with its solid know-how in the area of preform design and supplied the required mould parts, and on the other, it was involved in feasibility studies, ran test series and documented the resulting data.

The Cappello design
makes the base of a preform
up to 20 % lighter.

Concordia Development looked for an experienced and innovative mouldmaker able to produce the necessary steel parts and mould the test series. Due to a lack of contacts in the PET industry, Filippo Pagliacci, lawyer and CEO of the development company domiciled in Milano, sought an expert partner with first-class connections in the branch.

Applied all over the world.
The new development of Concordia Development and Otto Hofstetter AG reached series maturity already after one year of intensive work. One of the most crucial points was to explain to potential customers that the preform’s new base geometry saves much raw material without impairing the quality of the PET bottle. In the meantime, the industry is well aware of this big plus, and the annual production of Cappello preforms has grown to far over 6 billion pieces. The successful team has no intention of resting on its laurels, however.

Cappello saves much raw
material while the quality is fully identical
with that of conventional preforms.

The development continues.
With the objective of finding new base contours which save yet more weight and thereby valuable raw material, improvements are tested on an ongoing basis and the development is further refined. Urwerk, maker of luxury watches, and Otto Hofstetter AG are typical Swiss enterprises also in this respect: they are constantly searching for new solutions which meet the requirements of the customers and of the market.




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