Ligure Watches - A Progression in Time

Ligure Watches - A Progression in Time

5 min read
Don Russell
Don Russell

"Il tempo è galantuomo" a phrase often used in Italy, literally translates to "time is a gentlemen" or more accurately "time will tell".

Introducing Ligure Watches

Often, when a new company is born, everything that came before it is lost, indeed, the start of this 'new era' taking precedence over everything else. This is quite common, but to lose the past often denies a potential buyer of understanding the driving force responsible for the company's very existence. The story of Ligure, although not unique I'm sure, is inspiring to say the least; it not only brings to light the lengthy gathering of experience, but also the passion behind producing a timepiece that has that 'extra special' feel about it. What follows is only a 'potted history' I'm afraid, but nevertheless offers an insight into a dream that has matured over a lifetime in order to bear fruit.    

Ligure Tartaruga Scuba Diver

Ligure Tartaruga Scuba Diver: Credit WatchGecko

The story of Ligure Watches began back in the early '90s as three friends embarked on an enduring friendship that's as strong and as steadfast today as it was then. As is so often the case in life, they lost touch for a few years but although separated, their work, their travel, their experience of life and their passion were silently laying the foundation, one small piece at a time that would, many years later, become Ligure Watches. To move on too quickly would not only overlook three extremely successful careers, but also their individual passion for horology that would draw the three back together later in life. To fully understand the ethos of Ligure Watches we must now embark on a journey into the past of all three.

Loek Oprinsen

Born in 1964, Loek has been in the international luxury watch industry for more than 30 years and his senior role within Richemont, whose prestigious brands include A. Lange & Sohne, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc and Vacheron Constantin to name but a few, offers an insight into his vast knowledge, experience, commitment and professionalism. Loek joined the Movado Group Inc. (MGI) in 2005 as the Managing Director of Ebel Germany and, in 2009, Movado announced his appointment as President and Commercial Director, also at Ebel. Loek remains an extremely well respected and influential figure within the industry and now lives in the Netherlands.

Pieter van Geet

Born in 1968, Pieter worked at Bausch & Lomb Ray-Ban in the early 1990s, it was there that he met Jannieke and Loek. Their friendship flourished, but for Jannieke and Pieter something even more special lay in store, they fell in love and later married. Pieter moved to Swatch as Product Manager and then to Timex, before joining Caterpillar as their Marketing Manager responsible for the launch of the company's watch line. In 2002 Pieter left the watch industry and started his own consultancy firm which he sold in 2014. He speaks 5 languages, Dutch, Frisian, English, German and Italian. Pieter and Jannieke now live in Northern Italy.

Jannieke van Geet   

Born in 1972, Jannieke has achieved incredible success as an independent graphic designer, creative designer and artist spanning more than 30 years. Jannieke also owns the Dutch Card House Company, founded in 2017; its bespoke, high quality playing cards are preferred by magicians and cardists the world over. Jannieke's designs have been sold worldwide for more than 10 years and she is the leading designer within the International Group of Magicians and Cardists.

A company borne from passion

Over the last few years both Loek and Pieter had become somewhat disillusioned with the watch industry in general, with the focus of major brands edging more and more toward exclusivity. It was also apparent that the quality of many existing brands appeared to be declining, while the price appeared to be increasing. The amount of Chinese parts being used in some new brands also being a cause for concern, but what could be done? Jannieke, Loek and Pieter met to discuss the future; with their combined talents the solution, although a substantial undertaking, was obvious, and in 2020 Ligure Watches was born. Since its birth in 2020, Jannieke, Pieter and Loek have worked to ensure that every single building block is perfectly placed in order to create a company that not only lives up to their dream but surpasses it in every way.

Ligure Tartaruga Scuba Diver

Ligure Tartaruga Scuba Diver: Credit WatchGecko

Quality, style and affordability

Their objectives were to produce a timepiece that had a unique identity. It would be powered by a high-quality, automatic, Swiss movement that would remain a loyal companion over many, many years. It would have the elegance of a dress watch, but also the resilience to be there by your side, wherever you may venture. It needed to remain comfortable when worn for extended periods and it had to represent quality, prestige and, above all, value for money.

A thirst for something unique

It was apparent that over the years watches had fallen into two main categories, dress watches and diver's watches, the former being elegant but of little practical use outside of the boardroom and the latter being thick, heavy, slab-sided 'tools' for the deep, with equally bulky straps or bracelets. It was down to Jannieke to produce her magic and although she hadn't designed a watch before, neither was she shackled by the conventional ideas of established watch designers. The resulting creation was a watch-case so elegant that its beauty betrays the level of protection it provides, ensuring that the beating heart within enjoys an environment that is both safe and hermetically sealed. The strap/bracelet, dial, hands, bezel and bezel insert all merge together in perfect harmony, and in doing so, create something that is much, much more than the sum of the individual parts.

Ligure Tartaruga Scuba Diver

Ligure Tartaruga Scuba Diver: Credit WatchGecko

The very essence of Ligure

It's true that the design of a Ligure timepiece embodies the friendship, passion and commitment of three individuals, each with a desire to turn back time itself to an era where quality, affordability, originality and a zest for life were commonplace. It's also true that it evokes thoughts and memories of an incredibly beautiful region of Northern Italy from which Ligure takes its name; an area that is synonymous with the very spirit of adventure. Often referred to as the 'Italian Riviera', the region benefits from more than 300 days of sunshine during the year and is known for its colourfully painted villages, excellent food & wine, rock climbing, yachting, beaches and warm, clear waters.

Beautiful Liguria in NW Italy - Credit Ligure Watches

A Ligure timepiece is designed for the person whose ethos reflects that of the timepiece itself. It's for the person who doesn't feel the need to chase the latest fashion, but predominantly, it's for the person who has an insatiable thirst for life, love, passion and adventure.

A final word

Quite some time ago I connected with Pieter on LinkedIn and since then we've become good friends. His passion for this project inspired me from the first moment and, as I've witnessed the usual setbacks, Pieter's attitude and resolve have continued to impress. Yes, it's true that Ligure has no name to trade on, but that certainly doesn't mean it has no history. I suspect that this brand is here to stay and look forward to witnessing its future success.

We have a full review of the stunning Ligure Tartaruga Scuba Diver coming up later this month on the WatchGecko magazine. 

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Don Russell

About the Author: Don Russell

The timepiece of an adventurer serves not only as a trusted companion, but also as a portal to their inner self. My interest in watches goes back more than half a century; my reliance and passion more than half of that time. My hope is that I may inspire others to use their timepiece on their own adventures so that they may share a passion that has enriched my own life and given me so much enjoyment.

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