Who are behind Monchard?
We are two friends who are actively running Monchard Watches, this passion project that emerged from a joint school project at University has turned into a full time job for both of us. We pour ourselves into this brand and do whatever we can to make it better and better every day. But who are the people behind the brand?
Often times when you look at the ”about us” section of a brand, it gives the story about the vision the founder had before starting, or how some want to transform an industry with their products. There is nothing wrong with that, on the contrary! We felt that we wanted to give a little more personal info about us, the guys behind the watches. If you don’t want to read about our hobbies, dreams and passions, you can scroll down to the last section, where we have an overview of what we want to achieve with Monchard, no shame in getting straight to business. For the rest of you, come with us and say hello!
The two guys actively running the brand are Oskar Gydell and Jonathan Belvér, our last names are the formation for the ”parent company” behind Monchard Watches, ”Gydell & Belvér”. We met during junior year at University of Malmö, Sweden, where we’d both enrolled at the production design programme. While studying ”production methods and manufacturing” we were asked to do a special project as a school task. We chose to make a watch. It was a theoretical excersise, and the watch never materialized, but we felt that this could be something we should try in real life. Right around this time, watch microbrands were popping up left and right and we decided to join in.
Fast forward to today, and there has been many ups and downs, but everything we’ve encountered, from botched prototypes, failing movements, struggles with suppliers and technical problems to name a few, have given us important lessons. And a journey like this is never straight forward, it’s twisty and a bumpy ride. So, who are we then?
I was born and raised in Hässleholm, the same city where we now have our main warehouse and office. In my youth I made a name for myself in the skate scene and even participated in X-games. I was about to make it, but a quite severe knee injury put an end to my skating career. To my parents relief, having a teenager travel the world on his own was never their ultimate dream.
Even as a child & young adult I was avid painter and artist, and I did quite serious dabbling in painting miniature figures, touring Europe participating in events and exhibitions. Having the patience to sit still, many of my early pencil sketches we’ve now hung up on the walls of our office, the ones we could ”borrow” from my mother that is.
There was always a curious spirit in my mind and many are the cameras, RC cars and household appliances that have been disassembled during the upbringing in the Gydell home. It’s unclear if any came back to life again… I have to ask my dad.
My curious nature brought me into photography and I am the one who takes all the pictures for Monchard. I’m also into jewellery making and that knowledge is something I have brought with me to the watch business. As many guys, I have a passion for cars, vintage and modern, and this is something that has been reflected in my choice of cars up until now. My automotive priorities shifted quite dramatically late 2022 however when my daughter was born. All that is missing is a dog for the ”Swedish dream” to be realised.
Being detail oriented and wanting to being in control of things I often stay up at night obsessing over chamfers, dial heights and the best ways to shave off a few tenths of a millimetre on any given part.
Born and raised in a small village outside of Höganäs, also located in the southern part of Sweden, I spent most of my childhood picking apples from neighbours and building boxcars with my mates. Growing up I was never into sports but spent much of my time either drawing or listening to house music on home made speakers, much to the annoyance of both my siblings and parents. So much so that I became a DJ for a short while with a childhood friend.
Like Oskar I also loved building scale models, but my focus was on 1/24th scale cars, which I modified with model speakers, bigger rims and lowered suspension. I still have a big box of unfinished projects around here somewhere, maybe I should pick that up again…
When I got older I moved onto actual cars, and the hours I’ve spent waxing, polishing and cleaning cars and motorcycles on my parents driveway are likely uncountable, even using a calculator. Having done my compulsory military service, I got into Maritime university earning a captains degree. After many years sailing in the merchant navy, and having lived in the USA for five years I felt it was time to come back to Sweden and follow my passion of design, and that is were I met Oskar and Monchard was formed.
In 2017 my life was turned upside down in the best way possible when my daughter was born, and three years later she got a baby brother. Suffice to say I have plenty to do outside of making watches.
As a passionate watch enthusiast who loves vintage pieces I look to bring that passion into Monchard when designing new watches.
With Monchard Watches we set out to make watches that we ourself like and like to wear. We also strive to make our watches to the highest possible standard we can within the price bracket they play. We enjoy the tinkering, tailoring, technical bettering and the overall process that is that of making new watches. There is something profoundly rewarding with having a product that you’ve poured so much love into be loved by someone else, and seeing the pride of ownership in them after having purchased our watches.
We’re aiming to take Monchard to the next level by working towards introducing Swiss mechanical movements into the range, while also keeping a more price conscious line of watches simultaneously.
Thank you for considering us for your next watch purchase.
The people behind
We’ve always loved the mechanical wonders of our world, planes, boats, cars or watches. They all have a special place in our hearts. They seem to captivate us humans with an almost life like spirit and to create our own little technological wonder has been a life long dream.
We chose to honour the spirit of flight with this – our first watch under the Monchard name. The “Skytoucher GMT” is an homage to the “fliegers” of yesteryear. The steely eyed men and women who wore the first pilot watches into the unknown all deserve our respect and admiration.
We wanted to create a timepiece that would stand out, that would say something about it’s bearer. We wanted it to have the feel of adventure, of pioneering and exploration about it, and we feel that we have done that quite to the point. A watch for us is a tool, something that is made to be used and that serves a purpose. With the “Skytoucher GMT” we’ve tried to modernise the old “flieger” watch and add even more usability to an already proven and tested design.
The Automatic, the refined sibling to the GMT, sits in an all polished case, and with it’s sunburst dials and applied markers it surely is as elegant as the GMT is rugged. Being siblings, they share the case and the caseback among other details, but they are worlds apart in appearance.
We hope you’ll enjoy our watches as much as we’ve enjoyed designing them.
Thank you for considering us for your next watch purchase!