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Golay Spierer - Ten Minutes With Christophe Golay: Discover The Man Behind Golay Spierer

Golay Spierer Ten Minutes With Christophe Golay: Discover The Man Behind Golay Spierer

Christophe Golay, CEO of customised watch brand Golay Spierer, tells us his story

A direct descendant of Auguste Golay, founder of the Golay-Leresche company in Geneva in 1837, Christophe Golay began his career in pharmaceutical research. Carried by a longstanding family watchmaking tradition, in 2001 he turned to watchmaking by founding Golay Spierer, a company whose speciality is unique and tailor-made pieces.

Ten Minutes With Christophe Golay: Discover The Man Behind Golay Spierer

Christophe Golay holding a letter from Napoleon Bonaparte used in his watch dedicated to the emperor © Golay Spierer

What first made you interested in the watchmaking business?
Watchmaking punctuated my childhood and adolescence with dreams and desires. From the first Continental watch bought by my father for CHF 30 at Uniprix for my seventh birthday, to Ulysse Nardin's Astrolabe, which made me dream so much at the age of 17. However, it was my frustration with the limits of an industry organised around a model that was not very creative and too commercial that made me want to work in the watchmaking sector to make it evolve.

What unique quality do you think you bring to your brand?
The answer is in the question... "Unique", like each Golay Spierer watch. We do not recognise ourselves in the multiple reproductions of a creation made desirable by marketing, but in the reflection of a unique individual translated into a watch that is also unique.

Ten Minutes With Christophe Golay: Discover The Man Behind Golay Spierer

Golay Spierer workshop in Geneva, Switzerland © Golay Spierer

Tell us about an experience that defines your leadership style.
To be listened to and followed by a group of people is easy when you are successful. As for me, I have been fortunate to experience a sense of leadership in the difficult times my team and I went through during the crisis in 2011. In spite of the lack of cash that no longer allowed me to pay their salaries, my employees continued to support the company.

Which watch do you wear most often, and why?
The watch is a faithful companion who shares the emotions of life. Each of my watches regularly find a place on my wrist according to my mood.

What have you achieved as CEO that you are most proud of?
Over the years, I have come to understand that achievement is a mirage, that it is sometimes possible to define it but that it changes when you get close to it. However, if one speaks of pride, the pride I feel is knowing that my watches will still bring happiness to those who wear them when I am no longer wearing them.

Ten Minutes With Christophe Golay: Discover The Man Behind Golay Spierer

Napoléon Bonaparte watch © Golay Spierer

What is the biggest misconception that people have about Golay Spierer?
It is to understand that customisation is not the assembly of pre-existing components, but the creation of each of them individually.

On the other hand, what is one thing about Golay Spierer that is not well known, but super important, in your view?
The fact of our existence itself is not well enough known to the public, but I wonder if it's necessary for them to know about us?

Give us a one-word (or one-phrase) hint about your future plans for the brand.
Einstein.

 

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Golay Spierer offers its varied clientele unique tailor-made pieces as a way to express its passion for watchmaking. This link created between craftsmen, artists, technicians and clients - and developed through the art of tailor-made watches - brings an emotional content to timepieces whose soul will last ad vitam æternam.

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