Initium is specialized in watchmaking experiences, and has created a real name for itself in Switzerland since it was founded in 2015. The company is based on crowdfunding, which makes it quite interesting.
The workshops have both a theoretical component, with an introduction to watchmaking, and a practical one. Depending on the chosen formula, the practical experience can be assembling a watch movement or an entire watch, which you keep.
Initium operates out of 2 different sites:
The Geneva site is in the old town, in a historical area with strong ties to watchmakign, and a great deal of charm. Le Noirmont is a more modern facility, but perphaps more true to how most watch manufactures are set up today, with a lovely view on the Alps.
Introductory workshop (3 hours): an introductory course after which you will dimsantle and reassemble a watch movement under the guidance of a watchmaker: 350 CHF
Halfday worskhop + watch: after the introductory course, you will select your components and assemble your own watch (which you keep): 2490 CHF to 2990 CHF, depending on the components you choose.
Full day workshop + watch: similar to the above but with more time spent on the course and watchmaking, as well as a meal in a nice restaurant nearby: 2990 CHF to 3490 CHF, depending on the components you choose.
Bespoke formulas are also available for groups, and can be delivered on other premises, such as corporate offices or hotels.
Activities are available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
Time & Date: Monday to Saturday
SWE Rating: Excellent
SWE insight: As part of its Sustainability commitments, Initium states that all of the components for the make-your-own watch components are sourced within a 50 km radius from their site in Le Noirmont. Of course, sourcing of raw materials is a different matter, and a braoder issue for the watch industry to solve. While a lot of progress is being made, there is still a long way to go as shown by a recent WWF report. Still, Initium's efforts are an appreciated step in the right direction.