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Brand Spotlight Education

The History of Michele Watches

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Michele watches have had a major boon in popularity the past few years, quickly becoming a favorite watch style of the fashion blogging set. We take a look at the brand’s history and its recent rise celebrity.

Compared to many hundreds-years old Swiss watch-making companies, Michele’s history is short, tracing its origin story to the 1940s with Belgian watchmaker Maurice Barouh. Barouh adamantly believed in using only the highest quality materials and challenged his own skills as an artisan to produce watches that reflected his devotion to the watch-making craft.

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Barouh passed his values and passion for horology onto his son, Jack. Jack relocated to Latin America and began producing watches of his own design there. Like his father, Jack garnered great acclaim for his exceptional attention to detail which quickly distinguished him from his contemporaries. Unlike his father, however, Jack had an incredible knack for identifying fashion trends and re-interpreting them into his own watch designs. The result was fresh timepieces that were simultaneously au courant and timeless.

Jack and his wife Rita founded Michele as we know of it today in 1995, naming the company after his eldest daughter, Michele. The couple began designing children’s colorful watches which were a surprising runaway hit. The success of their children’s collection prompted the couple and their young family to move to Miami and expand their watch offerings.

In 2000, the company’s namesake Michele Barouh joined on as the third generation of her family’s business. Today she is the creative director, guiding the vision of the company. And true to her father’s aesthetic, continues to strike the ideal balance of fashion-forward designs with timeless appeal.

michele2Today Michele offers highly customizable watches with nearly limitless dial and strap combinations. Michele was acquired by the Fossil Group in 2004 which aimed to increase the brand’s international distribution. Even with the acquisition, the Barouh family remains an active part of the business and Michele herself remains the leader behind the company’s recent success.





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