Möels & Co’s modern, minimal timepieces are about the appeal of enduring design and inspiring others with the inherent beauty of horology
When Betina Menescal took her first step in the world of watchmaking in 2021, her stylish, original approach attracted the attention of the watch community and enthusiasts alike, with widespread recognition and critical acclaim. Now founder and Head Designer at Möels & Co, Betina was a London-based student at the time.
“While I was studying for a degree in architecture at Westminster University, the Covid pandemic hit,” she says. “My studies were disrupted, and I found myself isolated in a small studio in Kensington and in need of a creative outlet. I started to design watches. My father, an avid watch collector, saw my drawings and encouraged me to pursue it further.”
Betina’s father recognised her talent but understood the tough reality of trying to break into the highly competitive watch industry. To mitigate some of the challenges, he and Betina’s mother joined their daughter in setting up Möels & Co. “My father’s appreciation for horology and his commercial acumen were key to us securing strong business relationships with the highest quality suppliers, including sourcing the Swiss automatic movements,” says Betina. “My parents oversee the business administration and my sister focuses on marketing, freeing me to design as much as possible.”
Betina’s debut design earned Möels & Co three awards in 2022, including Gold Winner at the A’ Design Awards in Italy, Silver at the International Design Awards in Los Angeles and the coveted European Product Design Award. Betina describes her design philosophy as “rooted in simplicity, with a nod to mid-century modern style”.
Rather than sticking with the traditional round case, Betina opted for a rectangular shape mostly found in high-end timepieces from independent watchmakers. The aesthetically pleasing proportion of the asymmetric dial was based on the golden ratio, widely used in the arts, architecture and music, from Leonardo da Vinci, Debussy and Piet Mondrian to Le Corbusier.
“I have huge respect for the centuries of precision craftsmanship in watchmaking and I feel honoured to be a young woman designing in this field,” says Betina. “Möels & Co is built upon three core values: creativity, desirability and accessibility. My driving force is the pursuit of good design and I hope to make a contribution to the watch industry.”