There is a long way to go between the initial idea and the finished product, and this can only be done as a team. The creative minds of the Belchengruppe are specialists, each with its own savoir-faire and a unique point of view.
Christoph Schnee is the founder and creative head at Belchengruppe and has a passion for design details. He has degrees in industrial design and cultural management and has worked for many years as a freelancer and employee in the fields of strategy, concepts, and communication.
Christoph Schnee's great fascination is archetypes and playing with them; in his work he deals with rituals and making habits visible. In design, he prefers clear lines and simple forms, always driven by the question: "What is the essence of a product?" Christoph Schnee is fascinated by objects with optimised handling and ease of use - combined with unexpected details that make you think and give the user pleasure.
"What is important to me: trust in the team, humour, and learning from each other. That's why I always work with a wide variety of people. Thus I have to find ways to build a common understanding - and seek a connection also with people who are very different."
Christoph Schnee is vice-president of the openmovement association, which develops open-source movements, and is co-founder of kreaB, the Basel Creative Industries Association.
Christoph Ruppli created the entire visual identity of Belchengruppe . He invented the logo inspired by the three Belchen mountains and also designed the "Visuren" line of our dials. As a graphic designer, he likes it simple, functional, direct and radical. Contrast, tension and provocation are recurring elements of his design.
Christoph Ruppli graduated in graphic design from the Basel School of Design. He works as a freelance graphic designer, mainly in the fields of typography, editorial and corporate design. According to his own statement, there is a lot of Bauhaus and constructivism in his design style, also in terms of vision: he does not see graphic design as an end in itself, but rather as being committed to usefulness - never neglecting the aesthetic aspect, of course.
"The radiant lines of the dial refer on the one hand to the sun as the simplest timer, and on the other hand to the big bang as the initial moment of time and the beginning of being. Essential to me was the idea of creating an awareness of time instead of reproducing it as accurately as possible."
Jens Neuber designed the "120°" dial line and, together with Christoph Schnee, designed the case of the watches. He works as a product designer, illustrator, storyboard artist and concept artist in Munich. His design style is characterised by filigree and precision - qualities that characterise his creative process from the first sketches to the final product.
Jens Neuber studied product design at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach and production design at the HFF in Munich. Afterwards, he quickly specialised in the field of storyboarding, where he is able to combine both trainings. With his dial line "120°" and the tripartite division of the hour, he refers to the three Belches in the logo as well as to the high precision that is watchmaking.
"With our design, we revive the feeling of the Seventies. Christoph Schnee and I are both children of the Seventies, and something has stuck with us: The fascination for the extravagant, which we combine with today's possibilities of technology, the possibility of perfection - that is the basic theme of our designs."
Simone Schnee is responsible for the three-dimensional storytelling of the brand. She designed the minimalist packaging and stages the brand appearances. She studied product design at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach and has been working on the effect of design and communication in space ever since.
She works as a brand coach and designer independently and for live communication agencies in Germany and Switzerland. The focus of her work is the statement: that of the brand, the product and the space. She develops solutions that accompany the viewer into the world of the brand. In doing so, a holistic view of the space is essential for her, because she is convinced that the visitor perceives more than just the corporate design. Rather, his or her perceptions are shaped by the interplay of spatial proportions, the visual guidance provided by light and, last but not least, by the people who represent the brand.
"The watches of Belchengruppe are gems and this is exactly what the packaging should reflect. I wanted to surprise the customer when they first open it and draw their eye to the crown and the design power of the case contour."
Lukas Schneider put the finishing touches on the appearance of Belchengruppe with the typeface "Belchen Grotesk". The graphic designer and typeface designer from Frankfurt am Main studied visual communication at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach and completed a Master's degree in Type Design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague.
Although he describes his style as classical, Lukas Schneider is always trying out new things when creating fonts. He used the already designed logo as the basis for the Belchengruppe's typeface: in his opinion, an unobtrusive typeface that does not attract too much attention but is very functional at the same time best suited its clear language of forms. "For me, it was important that the typeface design for the Belchengruppe made reference to Swiss typography. The geometrically constructed grotesque fonts with their extensive lack of decorative elements are typical of this. These typefaces were a source of inspiration for me."
Belchen Grotesk is a neo-grotesque in the Swiss style. With unadorned letter forms, it perfectly embodies the Belchengruppe brand. Characteristics of the typeface include the narrow round forms (in C O Q etc.) - in addition, round dots provide a human touch.