Interview Romain Gauthier
Designing and manufacturing perfection.
When Romain Gauthier was a child, he was acutely aware of watches. After all, he grew up in Le Sentier, not far from the grand maisons of Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin and others.
For him and many of his friends, there was an expectation that they would go to work in these companies, carrying on the family tradition. Gauthier went along with it, getting his diploma at the watchmaking technical school in Le Sentier, but after a time working in a company making watch parts, he decided he wanted to do more
While he was working, he went back to school to get his MBA and as part of his thesis, he theoretically planned his own company. After he graduated with honors, he started to work on his first movement. From 2002 – 2005, Gauthier was working full time and working on his first caliber on nights and weekends. A big fan of movies, he applied what he had learned from years of watching Hollywood movies – “If you have a dream, you have to try to realize it. If you don’t, you will regret it all your life,” he says.
When he had finished the computer plan of his movement, he showed it to his boss at the watch parts company. “He offered to let me to use the company’s machinery in the company on the weekends and at night, so I made the parts of the first movement by myself,” he remembers, thankful for this opportunity. “This was a key to allow me to get to where I am today.” This year, Gauthier is celebrating 10 years of being in business. “It has taken 10 years to build and achieve a Manufacture in the truest sense with independence in terms of creation, production, finishing and assembly,” he says. “We now have 700 square meters of space and 16 people working in the company. Now it’s time to communicate about us, only a very small number of collectors know about us or have seen our watches.
« Je ne suis pas inquiet du tout de l’impact que pourraient avoir la montre d’Apple et autres montres connectées. »
”I am very proud of my team, the skills that we have to produce wonderful timepieces, to be a manufacture and to continue the real sense of Swiss Made -- to be innovative and contribute to Swiss watchmaking patrimony,” he continues.
This year at Baselworld, Gauthier introduced the Logical One Black Titanium, a stunning watch that looks decidedly more sporty than his previous timepieces.
“When I start to design a new timepiece, I begin by thinking of perfection, that’s my goal, doing the world most beautiful watch,” he ways. “After that, the combination of design and engineering are necessary to create exceptional timepieces. Because we have the capacity to produce by ourselves, it gives us the liberty in design and engineering. “The challenge for design is that we cannot create a universal design, one that everyone loves,” he says. “And it’s good like that, a world of customers with free minds. We have to create designs which can continue to give emotions and dreams.”
“I am not worried at all about the impact of the Apple Watch and other smart watches. The smart watches are gadgets and our clients are looking for mechanical, exclusive and exceptional watches that can last virtually forever, not a life cycle of two to five years due to the electronic evolution. Mechanical items will be more and more appreciates in the future, that is for sure.”
Romain Gauthier is a firm that has been built with care and patience. Using his knowhow learned over some 20 years in his native Joux Valley, and with his manufacture named after him, Romain Gauthier embodies an innovative vision of watchmaking aesthetics based on movements that are as cutting-edge as they are meticulous.Find out more
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