“Time Matters”: Nikolaus Hirsch, The Young Face of Watch Straps

Temps de lecture : 4 minutes

Although he may have one of the most famous names in the watchmaking world and he may already holds the title of Vice President of Sales and Marketing at a young age, Nikolaus (right) is by no means an heir. Welcome in my ‘Time People Series’.

Interview by Joël A. Grandjean, editor-in-chief JSH® Magazine (Journal Suisse d’Horlogerie – Swiss Watch Journal)  & Swiss Watch Passport

His name, his family’ s name, can be traced back to 1765. As for the history he helps to keep alive, it has been connected to the watch strap since 1945, when Hans Hirsch founded his company in Austria.

On a visit to Geneva, at the Watch Café, Nikolaus Hirsch meeting Sven Andersen, co-founder of the AHCI

Awarded by Forbes
Having been honoured by his visit to one of my Geneva Watch Cafés, I welcomed him to my guests as the “Hirsch heir”. First slip-up, immediately straightened up: the Hirsch people do not inherit, they earn their way, they invest themselves and become the guardians of family values such as independence, organic craftsmanship and the duty to maintain a leading position in the market. Forbes magazine rated him and his brother Matthäus in the “30 under 30” class. And still with his brother, he moved from being a digital evangelist with his lifestyle and watch blog (Dress of a Watch), to his first entrepreneurial venture by creating NiMa Atelier GmbH, an online shop selling leather goods…

Sensual and scientific
The watch strap is in permanent touch with the human skin. It is therefore the medium for an emotion made up of tactile, olfactory, visual and aesthetic pleasures. In addition, there is a scientific dimension since it must also be solid, reliable, non-aggressive and durable: “A team of trend scouts and material experts have their fingers on the pulse of time and are always on the lookout for trendy, innovative as also sustainable materials. In this way, we will continue to live up to our claim to innovation leadership in the future”, explains the young entrepreneur. And Hirsch bracelets are everywhere. At watch brands, including the most prestigious, retailers, and even in shopping center corners where they are associated with some maintenance and after-sales services.

On a visit to Geneva, at the Watch Café, Nikolaus Hirsch meeting Sven Andersen, co-founder of the AHCI.


If, like me, you’ve ever had the feeling to have a new watch on your wrist just because you’ve just changed your strap, then you might as well get to know one of the main players in this sector better. Questions about Time and Duration…

So, Mr. Nikolaus Hirsch, when was the first time?

Are you always on time?

What is the most embarrassed delay you can remember?
I was invited to a conference in the US to present my company, but unfortunately, I overslept and came one hour late.

A delay or an early start that would have allowed you to live the best?
I think that all these moments are meant to be in a way. I have had a moment where I was late to a meeting and then there was an incident on the road. A lorry crashed right in front of me. Luckily no one got hurt.

When was your longest day?
I have had a few in the past four years. But the last I remember was early this year when I flew from Hong Kong to Tokyo. I was awake for more than 36 hours due to a very early morning flight and a long day in Japan.

Apart from a watch or a timepiece, which design do you feel is the most timeless?

Please indicate the precise longitude and latitude of your birthplace.
Place is Klagenfurt am Wörthersee (editor’s note: Latitude 46.646305, longitude 14.308285, c’est en Autriche la capitale du Land de Carinthie, sur la rivière Glan).

Which kind of “time-consuming” situation do you fear the most?
Social Media and simple tasks take up a lot of my time. In business it’s hard to not have my phone with my but at home I use it less.

What is the book that took you the longest to read or that you didn’t finish?
There are so many, as I have a hard time reading books.

What is your first memory that was related to a duration of time?
I remember sitting on a plane to Hong Kong when I was a kid thinking 10 hours will never end. But time passed way faster than I had expected.

What are the moments in your life that should never end?
When I have fun and am with loved ones.

What difference do you see between time and eternity?
Well, for me personally there is no eternity, but there is eternity for my Legacy.

What was your first watch?
It was a Swatch. Unfortunately I don’t have It anymore.

Which roles do your watches play in your life?
They are very important to me and belong to my daily styling ritual.

The one you would like to own the most?
An A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus.

What is your collection watch that you are most proud of, and why?

My Rolex Milgauss. It was the first watch I ever bought. My relationship with time is not very special. It’s all about gaining experience. And the more time passes, the more experiences I can acquire.

If you were deprived of a time indicator, what would you plant in the ground to get the time, like an old sundial?
I would choose an hourglass.





“Time matters” is an exclusive interview-type (registered script @ProWatCH) under the name ‘Time People Series’ dedicated to watch CEOs and celebrities. List on request >

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