The power of a name lies in the beauty of its history
Sitting in the sun in Zurich, Daniel Dreifuss breathes in the scent of the city, listens to its rhythm, sees the colours of the light dance around him and feels the moment. This is the moment that marks the inception of a great brand – Maurice de Mauriac. He wants to produce watches that tell great stories, because he is a connoisseur of stories and knows their power. He loves the stories of free spirits, courageous individuals and those who take a stand for what they believe. Suddenly, two names appear on the piece of paper before him: Michel de Montaigne and Francois Mauriac. Having driven him to engage with these thinkers years ago, Daniel’s curiosity again triggers a fateful flurry of creativity. But the search for a name does not end here – no, it is only building up speed.
Daniel Dreifuss then moved to what he does best: masterful attention to detail. What fed this association? Are there associations that are unpleasant if the name is on a watch dial? One thing was for certain – it should be an alliteration, the harmony of the two constituent names, because the brain attributes a melody to this acoustic association. And in Daniel’s case, this melody became entangled with emotions that got lodged deep within the creative part of his mind.
Mauriac was drawn to human flaw and it became the driving force of his works. Dreifuss as well loves searching this dimension of our existence in order to find energy for new ideas. He loves people as much for their flaws as for their virtues. Engaging with others should not follow some cold judgement of their character, but rather it should be done with great curiosity, great heart and compassion. Mauriac stood for intellectual antifascism, he fought for freedom and he approached others with tolerance – all traits of Dreifuss’ attitude. –Not only politically and socially, but also as a watchmaker. Drawing on Mauriac’s resolve, Daniel stands against the radically traditional watchmakers, takes the freedom he requires. He unapologetically uses the traditions of watchmakers to elevate them to new levels of interpretation. If there were a Nobel Prize for watches, he would very likely have already received it, just like Mauriac did for his work.
Dreifuss knows that he has to stand out, and that is why he loves the literary genre created by Michel de Montaigne. It is an experimental, playful form of expression that develops before the reader’s eyes – a working process embodied in Daniel’s approach to watch design. His creations are works in progress that unfold together with and against the background of his city, Zurich, which then serves as the stage for their development in front of the whole world. He invites people to take part in his experiment, and for this reason, he now has a network that many, not only in the watch industry, look upon with envy. It is a network which even today he personally cultivates via social media.
In the end, we have a name that is near and dear to him. But more than that, it is also a goal he constantly strives to achieve. It is a name that he associates with thoughts about watches, playing with the stylistic elements and traditions, and which, at the same time, embodies a rebelliousness against everything that is presented as given – Maurice de Mauriac.