Born in 1976 in Sainte-Croix (Switzerland) in a small village in the Vaud Jura, at an altitude of 1,000 meters, Philippe Narbel did not intend to become a watchmaker. He entered the School of Applied Arts in Vevey (CH) for one year. He graduated with honors, and a love for photography. At the age of 20, after having interrupted a training in a printing shop, he started to work as a self-taught jeweler. There followed 9 years of self-employed practice. However, at the age of 29, married and father of a first child, he realizes that the jewelry business will not be able to support his family for long.
The opportunity arose to begin training as a watchmaker at the prestigious Audemars Piguet company; he passed with flying colors and his grades opened up a post-training course within the company. During 5 years, he will have the opportunity to go through all the watchmaking workshops of the company. However, he missed the contact with the raw material. He therefore applied internally to be integrated into the decoration workshop. After learning there how to bevel with a file, in and out angles, and then manual skeletonization, he is trained by the last skeletonizer of the manufacture.
After 2 years in this workshop, he understands the need to set up his own business. He creates Manufactor Sàrl on February 1st 2015. Starting by working in a garage lent by a friend, he then set up his new company in an apartment located in the house where he lives with his family, in L'Abbaye, in the Vallée de Joux. Manufactor Sàrl grows, becomes a Limited Company in 2019, and has up to 9 employees; watchmakers, decorators, engravers: He adds all the necessary skills to realize complete and perfectly decorated watches.
In parallel he works on a personal project. Accompanied by his partner, he decides to hire a manager to take care of Manufactor SA so he can devote himself entirely to his project. He therefore hires Patrice Golay, an experienced watchmaker, who agrees to leave his position as a trainer at Jaeger-Lecoultre to join the Manufactor SA adventure.
In June 2021, the limited company Narbel&C0 SA was created. A bit like a publishing house for a writer, or a music label for a musician, the purpose of this company is to give life to the creative activity of watch artists, starting with Philippe. He is deeply convinced that watchmaking is an ecosystem in which the watchmaker must be considered an artist, who must be given the means to focus on his creative activity.