Music Makes Magic in One of the World’s Most Charming Luxury Items

Music box maker, Reuge, has perfected an ancient craft that still captivates the world’s most influential people.

The Byzance music box by Reuge, a gilt singing bird box with polished glass panels. (Photo courtesy of Reuge)
The Byzance music box by Reuge, a gilt singing bird box with polished glass panels. (Photo courtesy of Reuge)

Life in the digital age can be paradoxical — somehow we can be both overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. Media and information are ubiquitous. Smartphones never stop beeping, and anywhere you go, music plays unnoticed.

“People today, they don’t have dreams anymore — they have Google,” says Kurt Kupper, CEO of Reuge, the world’s leading music box maker.

True beauty, however, can still ring like a bell through the background noise, spark our soul, and draw us into the moment, into a deeper existence.

“We want the people again to have this sparkle in their eyes,” Kupper says.

Inspiring Reuge’s clientele — statesmen, royalty, and the world’s wealthiest people, who already have everything — is no easy task. But Reuge manages to do it, charming the international elite with the magic of its music boxes.

(Photo courtesy of Reuge)
(Photo courtesy of Reuge)

Many luxury brands, such as Rolls-Royce, are eager to partner with Reuge. The Swiss company has been making music boxes for over 150 years in the quaint 5,000-person village of Sainte-Croix. Rolls-Royce identified closely with Reuge’s rich heritage and ability to personalize luxury, traits embedded in each of its luxury automobiles.

“You buy one Rolls-Royce, it’s never going to be the same as your friend’s if he has a Rolls-Royce,” says Kupper, who also sees the synergy in values between the two companies. “There is the willingness to listen to the customer, to improve, to evolve.”

Tuning in to who the client is — the personality, desires, culture and style — is an important reason that “sparkle” is more than just a wish; Reuge makes it reality.

Kupper gives the example of a dignitary flying into a private airport in his private jet. He gets picked up by a limo, and as he relaxes into the back seat, he sees a Reuge music box fitted into the arm rest.

He plays the music. As the steel comb brushes over thousands of tiny, perfectly arranged metal pins, the worries of life melt away. Such a busy person, for a few breaths, has not a care in the world. Gleeful like a child, he is enchanted by the box’s looping 32-second melody.

A music box from Reuge’s 1865 collection. (Photo courtesy of Reuge)
Reuge’s Escalado music box. (Photo courtesy of Reuge)

Part of Reuge’s secret to continue captivating people over the last century and a half is its thirst to always innovate and design pieces for people today.

“Every day we wake up, we are a startup,” Kupper says, expressing the company’s pioneering spirit. He says that, like a tree, “on one side you have extremely deep roots of tradition and history and knowledge — so you want to keep those traditions and knowledge. But on the other hand, if you talk about the fruits of that tree, people might change the taste a little bit.”

Reuge's MusicMachine 3 music box, designed to look like a Star Wars TIE fighter. (Photo courtesy of Reuge)
Reuge’s MusicMachine 3 music box, designed to look like a Star Wars TIE fighter. (Photo courtesy of Reuge)
Reuge's Cocoon music box. (Photo courtesy of Reuge)
Reuge’s Cocoon music box. (Photo courtesy of Reuge)
Reuge's Little Forest music box. (Photo courtesy of Reuge)
Reuge’s Little Forest music box. (Photo courtesy of Reuge)

That frame of mind mirrors the vision of the Luxury Home & Design Show, which will take place in Vancouver, June 21–24, hosted by our sister media, Taste of Life. The show curates world-class craftsmanship and design that can be perfectly customized to today’s sophisticated customers and their individual desires.

“Luxury often is only symbolized by money, which is wrong,” Kupper says. “It’s not about the value of money, it’s about the love and the emotion. It’s about realizing what is important in life.”

Reuge’s Anastasia music box. (Photo courtesy of Reuge)

It’s hard not to feel that tenderness when watching and listening to Reuge’s charming chirping birds, of which several will be showcased at the Luxury Home & Design Show. Adorned with real feathers, the singing birds have that lifelike spirit that captivates you in the moment, or maybe transports you to another time and place altogether.

“We don’t fulfill your dreams,” Kupper says. “We help you dream.”

(Photo courtesy of Reuge)
(Photo courtesy of Reuge)
(Photo courtesy of Reuge)

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