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RALF TECH - Ten Minutes With Frank Huyghe: Discover The Man Behind RALF TECH

RALF TECH Ten Minutes With Frank Huyghe: Discover The Man Behind RALF TECH

RALF TECH is what you get when you unite the worlds of diving and watchmaking — the two passions of the brand’s CEO. In this interview with Frank Huyghe, we reveal the face of RALF TECH.

Born in Paris in 1963, Frank Huyghe has always had an alternative approach to business, an approach based on following his passions. A professional diver since the age of 20, Franck created RALF TECH in 1996, producing scuba-diving equipment for military and commercial divers. In 2008, 12 years later, he gave his brand a new direction in designing watches, allowing him to unite his two passions — diving and horology — under a single pursuit.

10 minutes avec Frank Huyghe : découvrez l'homme derrière RALF TECH

Frank Huyghe © RALF TECH

What first interested made you interested in the watchmaking business?
I developed this passion in my adolescence and it has never left me since. There’s no explanation, just a connecting thread. I had 30-something watches before creating RALF TECH. The thing that remained constant was the emotion I had for them; falling in love.

What unique quality do you think you bring to your brand?
A unique quality? It is, without doubt, presumptuous to answer this question on my own behalf… Perhaps we might say it’s authenticity, or the quest for alternative solutions. I am of the principle that I would rather create than copy, to invent rather than to take the easy way. This is my vision of what I call authenticity.

10 minutes avec Frank Huyghe : découvrez l'homme derrière RALF TECH

WRV Chronographe Automatique Tachymètre Panda © RALF TECH

Tell us about an experience that defines your leadership style
My buddies and I were in Bolivia for work some twenty-plus years ago. We were supposed to finish training the naval divers of Bolivia at Lake Titicaca, 4000m above sea-level. The day we arrived at La Paz, the Bolivian capital, there was a climactic event, a major natural disaster. In my view, our priorities had changed from carrying out our professional mission to taking a humanitarian one — to help the local population. I thus decided to redefine our objectives in Bolivia, transforming our group into a force of humanitarian support. We saved 74 lives, and were later decorated by the Bolivian government and the United Nations. The important point of this story is that we were able to evaluate the situation, to unite the group around a new project and, of course, to be useful. In short, we adapted. In my opinion, a leader who can’t adapt does not belong in our current world.

What watch do you wear most often, and why?
That’s a difficult question. I mostly wear the WRX collection. Very often, it’s a WRX Millenium, because it reminds me of my personal story. For more formal occasions, I wear a WRV automatic or a WRV Automatic Chronograph, the new Tachymeter model, for example.

10 minutes avec Frank Huyghe : découvrez l'homme derrière RALF TECH

WRX Millenium © RALF TECH

What have you achieved as CEO that you are most proud of?
The initial project, which I started from zero in 2008, has become an innovative and recognised business. We are today a highly credible option in dive watches. That said, my greatest pride is definitely the fact that we are independent — and we want to stay that way!

What is the biggest misconception that people have about RALF TECH?
I don’t know if people have misconceptions about RALF TECH. What would perturb me, on the other hand, is to observe people group us together with existing traditional brands. We pride ourselves on being different; I wouldn’t want the public to miss this fact.

10 minutes avec Frank Huyghe : découvrez l'homme derrière RALF TECH

WRB « First Edition Black » © RALF TECH

On the other hand, what is the one thing about RALF TECH that is not well known, but highly important, in your view?
First of all, two important facts — firstly, we have held since July 2005 the world record for the deepest autonomous scuba dive, which is to say, an unassisted diver. We’re talking about a dive close to 10 hours at a depth of 330m, which took place in the Mediterranean. The diver was wearing the first RALF TECH watch on his wrist. Secondly, we supply the majority of special forces across the world. The Swiss, the French, the British, the Americans etc. Over 12 countries and more than 60 dive units, to be precise. This gives us a big advantage in terms of gathering experiential information about our products, and thus boosting our savoir-faire in this area. Above all else, we are all about the real thing; we don’t go for false marketing.

10 minutes avec Frank Huyghe : découvrez l'homme derrière RALF TECH

Académie « Vétéran » Black © RALF TECH

Give us a one-word (or one-phrase) hint about your future plans for the brand.
Some of our models are already more than 10 years old. Very soon, it will be time to give them a little injection of youth; a little facelift. And we have a new, very important project coming out in 2021 or 2022, but we’ll have time to speak again about it in the future…

 

Lecture 1 Comment(s)

10 June 2020
Sea S
Je possède une WRX titan et j’ai effectué avec plus de 280 plongées, pas de mauvaises expériences avec. Et le must, une très belle lecture sous l’eau avec son verre et sa luminescence.

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The brand

In 1996, professional diver Frank Huyghe created the RALF TECH brand: diving suits, buoyancy compensators, regulators, masks, etc. In 2003, on the strength of his personal experience, he designed a watch that could withstand the enormous pressures of the ocean depths and beat the World Record of deep diving. This was the RALF TECH WR1.

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