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HYT - Ten Minutes With Grégory Dourde: Discover The Man Behind HYT

HYT Ten Minutes With Grégory Dourde: Discover The Man Behind HYT

At the head of the brand that makes time fluid, Grégory Dourde tells us more about himself and his connection with HYT.

An engineering graduate from Ecole Nationale des Ponts & Chaussées (Paris) and the holder of an MBA from Collège des Ingénieurs, Grégory Dourde began his career with Cartier, in Retail Strategy, before moving to Swatch Group, at Calvin Klein Watches and on the management board of the group's Manufacturing companies under Nicolas Hayek Senior. He went on to set up his own consulting company, Eleven Entrepreneurial Services SA. In May 2016 he was appointed Chief Executive of HYT.

Ten Minutes With Grégory Dourde: Discover The Man Behind HYT

Grégory Dourde © HYT

What first made you interested in the watchmaking business?
The opportunity to give expression to subjects that have always inspired me – art, science and philosophy – and materialize them in an emotionally charged object.

What unique quality do you think you bring to your brand? 
The possibility to cross-reference disciplines that aren't usually, or rarely, given a chance to interact. And to bring cultures and multidisciplinary teams together in order to create, invent and give meaning to a modern approach to watchmaking. We connect opposites such as tradition and innovation, fluids and mechanics or immiscible liquids. It's this tension between elements, a tension we overcome, that unleashes creativity.

Ten Minutes With Grégory Dourde: Discover The Man Behind HYT

H²0 © HYT

Tell us about an experience that defines your leadership style.
"I hate to follow and I hate to lead" (Nietzsche). One of the roles of leadership is to help a strong, curious, independent mind to grow. Creativity follows. Rigour is the guarantee. Being part of a team is the foundation.

Which watch do you wear most often, and why? 
The Soonow, because it epitomises our philosophy of fluid time: a pure representation of passing time that brings us to question how we perceive time, what it means to us and why we have a responsibility to make something of the present. It's both architectural and artistic. It's a conversation starter.

Ten Minutes With Grégory Dourde: Discover The Man Behind HYT

Soonow Drop Three © HYT

What have you achieved as co-founder that you are most proud of? 
Hearing customers talk about how this new perception of time as something fragile and important influenced their experience of certain milestones in life. A watch shouldn't just give the time or simply appeal to our emotions. It must also give meaning to time as we experience it.

Ten Minutes With Grégory Dourde: Discover The Man Behind HYT

Flow © HYT

What is the biggest misconception that people have about HYT? 
When they stop at the surface, at what's immediately in front of them: a watch that uses liquids to display the time. We have invented a new way of representing and seeing time, but most of all a new way to experience time, both day and night. As a project, it gives new significance to time and transforms us. It's essential that we educate people in this concept because, while we may be rooted in the history of time measurement, our vocabulary, our technology and our philosophy mean that we are, to some degree, detached from it. Our watches are multi-dimensional objects that reveal themselves through an intense, non-instant relationship. Which is surely the guarantee of a love that lasts?

Ten Minutes With Grégory Dourde: Discover The Man Behind HYT

H0 © HYT

On the other hand, what is one thing about HYT that is not well known, but super important, in your view? 
The major technological and scientific project behind HYT has one purpose and that is to give meaning to the user's experience of time, again and again. While we do draw on Haute Horlogerie, this isn't about technological one-upmanship. Nor is it a purely artistic concept. HYT gives the watch a function: to transform our perception and our experience of time.

Give us a one-word (or one-phrase) hint about your future plans for the brand.
Continue to go beyond what we already know, what we already are. Make this the start of our journey, not the destination.

 

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