Jorg Hysek SA



Head 20 miles from Geneva and you'll find Morges, a beautiful town of 5,000 inhabitants fronting Lake Geneva. Then, take a winding country road several miles into the rolling farmland overlooking the lake and you're in Lussy, a farming village of maybe 100 people. This is where privately held Jorg Hysek SA calls home. The company creates and manufactures watches, writing instruments, jewelry and other luxury accessories.

The photo that accompanies this story was taken quite a distance away from the headquarters building. I did it with purpose to show the adjacent area, which includes fields of wheat, corn and a large grape vineyard hugging the hillside. I also wanted to show the relative isolation in which the three-story building is located.
No signs or plaques are found on the building's exterior. Heck, I wasn't sure I was at the right place until spotting the Jorg Hysek SA name in small letters discreetly placed near the mailbox. One just can't walk into the building but has to be buzzed into the light blue and white colored box-shaped structure.

Sonia Montanaro, whose title on her business card reads "PR/Communications" answers questions and shows me around the place. One of the first things a visitor can't help but notice is that the walls, furnishings and floors are in either one of three colors: black, white or gray. However, there's an exception to this: hangings on walls near the entrance are brightly colored abstract-like paintings. Who's the artist of these delightfully vibrant paintings? Jorg Hysek.

The building has been home to the company since its construction back in 1992. Fifteen people work here. There's plenty of employee parking, smoking isn't allowed and there's a kitchen area where employees can heat, cook or whip up their lunch. It's 30 minutes by car to Geneva airport and several minutes to the nearest freeway.

Company founder and CEO Jorg Hysek, who recently turned the big 5-0, occupies a corner office on the top floor. Hysek's office has the sleek, modernistic look as found in the rest of the building and, (big surprise) everything in his office is either black or white. Oops, I take that back as I make note of the two real plants (green). Hanging on a wall is a framed picture of Hysek motorcycling in the desert. On a shelf three scale model sports cars are poised to zoom off and on his desk sits a laptop computer along with a pile of about 10 Jorg Hysek pens. How do I know they're Jorg Hysek pens or, writing instruments as Ms. Montanaro would prefer me to say? Well, his pens are distinctive as well as cool looking. Plus, they aren't cheap---costing anywhere from several hundred dollars on up (depending if you get one festooned with diamonds). Pretty much on par with Mont Blanc pens. Hysek's office also contains a terrace where he can sit outside and take in the view. The table and chairs on the terrace are white and, his view? Corn and wheat fields.

It's also on the third floor where I find a selection of Jorg Hysek watches and pens on display. It's back in 1999 when Hysek came out with his first line of watches after having designed watches for such well known names as Cartier, Ebel, Rolex and Tiffany & Co. His latest watch, "X-RAY", goes for 150,000 Euros. So, what watch is Ms. Montanaro sporting? A Jorg Hysek stainless steel Kilda. She takes it off to show me. Jeez, it's really heavy. Turns out it's a man's watch. The price-4,000 Swiss Francs or about $3,000.

Company's website can be found at www.hysek.com. I give the site the two thumbs up.