Traditional Watchmaking by Kennsen

A portmanteau of Germanic “know” and Scandinavian “son”, Kennsen can be roughly translated as “Son of Knowledge” – a small tribute to horology’s predecessors, famous or forgotten, who over the centuries have contributed to the art and science of watchmaking.

Who are we?

How did Kennsen come about? Well sometimes life takes unexpected turns: In our case, a course of studies in Edinburgh where David Lea, a New Zealander knowing little about watches, met Myriam, a Swiss who came from a family active in watch industry.

Both moved – temporally so it was thought – to Switzerland where David was introduced to mechanical watches and complications. That so much information could be conveyed by mechanics driven by a wheel making a revolution in 12 hours was a revelation. This was also the beginning of a long journey: David taught himself watchmaking by literally reading everything he could, from patents to engineering texts and old watchmaking school material. In parallel, the couple also formed an independent company providing research and consulting services to the industry.


David Lea, co-founder and responsible
for the development of complications

The town of Biel/Bienne, home of Kennsen.

The town of Biel/Bienne, home of Kennsen.

The development of Kennsen

With understanding comes the desire to contribute at a greater level. One benefit of learning oneself from different sources is that it permits a multidisciplinary approach, and with it the development of original solutions to watchmaking challenges.

At Kennsen, concepts are developed in the old-fashioned way, with pencil and paper. Only when solutions are clear does 2D and 3D CAD design and prototyping of the mechanisms begin and, where appropriate, patents are written (also in-house). Those same principles were applied when we designed our case and dials.

While all the virtual prototyping is done by Kennsen in Biel/Bienne, the machining of parts and physical prototyping are by the very capable hands of a small family firm in the Vallée de Joux.

Kennsen is a traditional watchmaker: our watches are designed, produced and assembled in Switzerland and we partner with others to produce watches. Cliches aside, our watches and their mechanisms really are a synergy of combined talents. We hope they bring their owners much satisfaction over the years.