Ralf Tech New partner
WorldTempus is pleased to welcome Ralf Tech, a brand that specialises in diving watches, as our newest partner.
There are watches that have made history in highly specific fields, whose achievements (and even names) are not generally known except in niche audiences. The Ralf Tech WR1 was associated with a world record in scuba diving for nearly 10 years. On July 5, 2005, French scuba diver Pascal Bernabé reached a depth of 330 meters in the oceanic abyss off the coast of Corsica, making a 35-minute descent before embarking on a long and patient ascent of almost 9 hours. He was wearing two dive computers and a prototype watch. The dive computers did not withstand the extreme conditions of the dive. The watch did. Where did this watch come from?
Pascal Bernabé, July 5, 2005, during his world record in scuba diving
In 2005, the name Ralf Tech was not unknown among scuba diving enthusiasts. Created in 1996 as a professional range of diving equipment by Frenchman Frank Huyghe, a former professional diver turned entrepreneur, the brand had been equipping professionals such as French Navy divers for years. Companies and individuals active in technical diving used Ralf Tech on extremely deep or demanding dives — for shipwreck dives, dives under ice, or speleological expeditions, for example.
Frank Huyghe had nurtured another passion since his adolescence — a passion for watchmaking. In 2003, when Pascal Bernabé approached him looking for a partner to help him break the world diving record, Frank Huyghes was immediately on board. It took two years for him to design the watch prototype with a childhood friend, a watchmaker based in Lajoux, in the Swiss Jura, and have it tested in the decompression chambers of a specialist manufacturer in Germany.
The prototype made diving history and Frank Huyghe decided to order 500 additional pieces of the WR 1 — the initialism standing for “World Record” — from the Lajoux workshop to celebrate this record. Shortly afterwards, he separated from his diving equipment company, keeping only the Ralf Tech name. In 2008, he founded a company under this name entirely dedicated to watchmaking.
Ralf Tech WR1
As its founder likes to emphasise, Ralf Tech is an independent "French artisanal and family business", where everything is imagined and created in-house, in two workshops, one in France and the other in Switzerland. Its aim is to develop and manufacture robust, precise and reliable timepieces tested by professionals, for professionals and amateurs, at reasonable prices.
WRX Chrono Day © Ralf Tech
The watches and chronographs in the WRX collection, made from surgical-grade steel, are true professional instruments, imposing (with a 47.5 mm diameter), offering the best of technology, and water-resistant from 300m to 1000m. The smaller WRV models (just under 44 mm) are water-resistant to a maximum of 300 m and adopt a vintage look. Both collections use Swiss automatic or hybrid (self-winding quartz) movements. The latest addition to the Ralf Tech collections, the WRB, with a 39mm case diameter, marks the company’s departure from making only professional diving instruments, moving towards a more diverse offering suitable for everyday wear. It is equipped with a Swiss automatic movement, just like the Academie, another Ralf Tech collection which is less sporty and more classic.
WRV Automatic Chronograph Barracuda © Ralf Tech
Ralf Tech is issued to units of the French Special Forces, the elite units of the French Gendarmerie and National Police, as well as the Special Forces from a dozen other countries, such as Switzerland, the UK and Italy. It also maintains close links with the world of sailing and the most prestigious ocean races — Vendée Globe, Transat Jacques Vabre — and is the official timekeeper of the several other races. Apart from maritime pursuits, Ralf Tech also supports various events in tennis, golf and motor racing.
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.Find out more >
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