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Arnold & Son - Ten Minutes With Bertrand Savary: Discover The Man Behind Arnold & Son

Arnold & Son Ten Minutes With Bertrand Savary: Discover The Man Behind Arnold & Son

With close to 20 years of experience in the watch industry behind him, Bertrand Savary has recently taken the reins at Arnold & Son. Find out more about what makes him tick and what he has in store for the brand…

Bertrand Savary is an engineer by training, and began his career at the Richemont group of companies as a project manager before moving into sales at Jaquet Droz, Bulgari, Breguet, Corum and Vacheron Constantin, followed by a stint at Jacob & Co. in the position of CEO. This year is synonymous with renewal for Savary, as he brings his experience to Angelus and its sister brand Arnold & Son, leading both brands in the capacity of president since April 2020.

Ten Minutes With Bertrand Savary: Discover The Man Behind Arnold & Son

Bertrand Savary © Arnold & Son

What first made you interested in the watchmaking business?
I came to watchmaking rather by chance. I was trained as an engineer, so I began in the watch industry in the after-sales department of Richemont group, in a reorganisational role. That allowed me to discover this world, to understand the multitude of skills involved and the complexity demanded in the construction of a watch — and I never left this industry thereafter.

What unique quality do you think you bring to your brand?
I've worked with brands both big and small, always in the high-end sector, whether in Europe or Latin America or Asia. Thus, I would say I bring an international market experience and a professional network built over more than 15 years. A culture of luxury, of aesthetics and service — cardinal values in the growth of Arnold & Son.

Ten Minutes With Bertrand Savary: Discover The Man Behind Arnold & Son

Nebula 38 acier © Arnold & Son

What type of leader would you like to be, at Arnold & Son?
I wish to be a hands-on leader, to be responsible towards my teams without going into micro-management. We spend a lot of time at work, and we are always connected today. To me, it seems indispensable to be able to find pleasure in our work, to find a sense of what we can do to achieve excellence and maintain the desire to continually self-improve.
 

What watch do you wear in your role as brand president, and why?
I'm wearing the Tourbillon Chronomètre 36. This collection perfectly transmits the identity of Arnold & Son; Swiss watchmaking of British extraction, expressed in a contemporary way.

This piece is pays tribute to historical chronometers created by John Arnold, in particular his famous pocket chronometer N° 1/36. Actually, this historical model was not only the first pocket watch of John Arnold, using a movement with a "T" balance,  it is also considered a chronometer due to its superior chronometric performance. Apart from that, the symmetry and openness of the movement of the Tourbillon Chronomètre 36 are two traits that characterise Arnold & Son today. Lastly, as the name indicates, the Tourbillon Chronomètre 36 is COSC. certified, which is pretty rare for a tourbillon watch.

Ten Minutes With Bertrand Savary: Discover The Man Behind Arnold & Son

Tourbillon Chronomètre 36 © Arnold & Son

What is the biggest misconception that people have about Arnold & Son, that you would like to banish?
That we are a boring, classical brand. I have never seen such creativity and reactivity in a brand. I have the chance to be part of a team that is extremely professional, filled with talented people, each one outstanding in his or her field. Despite the ongoing pandemic, we are progressing, building the years to come — I can promise you some beautiful surprises in 2021.

On the other hand, what is one thing about Arnold & Son that is not well known, but super important, in your view?
This may not be one of the least known things about Arnold & Son, but it is one of the most remarkable — its manufacture (La Joux-Perret) and its comprehensive portfolio of calibres that is on par with those of the biggest watchmaking brands. We are part of a small number of manufactures that are capable of producing complicated movements at a high level of finish, as well as simpler three-hand movements, in large quantities. 

Give us a one-word (or one-phrase) hint about your future plans for the brand.
We'll speak of many things in 2021… So I would say "astronomy" and "métiers d'art"…

Ten Minutes With Bertrand Savary: Discover The Man Behind Arnold & Son

HM Perpetual Moon Aventurine © Arnold & Son

What is your long-term vision for Arnold & Son? What direction do you intend to take the brand in? 
Arnold & Son is respected by connoisseurs and I would like to enlarge the circle of clients who are curious about beautiful niche watchmaking, a clientele in search of the "singular classicism" that is characterised by a particular type of movement construction and distinctive aesthetic at Arnold & Son. I'm thinking of the Time Pyramid, for example, and its pyramidal movement, the Nebula with its bridges that combine in the shape of a star, or the Perpetual Moon with its outsize moonphase.

Its unique identity — "Swiss watchmaking maison with English roots" — must be reinforced by the aesthetic aspects and technical characteristics of its collections. We have just announced our first ambassador personality, Sir Mo Farah, four-time Olympic champion and notable Brit. This is a partnership defined by exceptionalism, by longevity and a specific elegance, which is inextricably associated with English values. We may launch other collaborations in other domains, but they will always share this link with Britain.

Lastly, we listen closely to our clients. We receive numerous requests for watch personalisation, for example. This represents much investment of resources on our part, but it's important to us to offer the best service possible.

 

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Named after John Arnold, the English watchmaker of the 18th century renowned for his ingenuity and work on marine chronometers, Arnold & Son perpetuates today his legacy, exploring contemporary ways to interpret traditional watch craftsmanship.

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