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Jaquet Droz - Ten Minutes With Christian Lattmann: Discover The Man Behind Jaquet Droz

Jaquet Droz Ten Minutes With Christian Lattmann: Discover The Man Behind Jaquet Droz

Christian Lattmann has been at the head of Jaquet Droz since mid-2016. In this exclusive session with WorldTempus, he reveals a little more about himself and the brand he leads.

Born in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, Christian Lattmann has had a long career within the Swatch Group. He began at Longines in 1989, before joining Omega in 1995 as a product manager. In 2002, he was named product manager at Breguet and also occupied a seat on the executive board of this prestigious brand. He later went on to become vice president of Breguet, making it 14 years in total that he eventually came to spend with the brand. In parallel, he joined the steering committee of Jaquet Droz in 2009, and was elevated to the position of executive vice president in 2012. In 2016, he ceded his responsibilities at Breguet to dedicate himself fully to Jaquet Droz as brand CEO.

Ten Minutes With Christian Lattmann: Discover The Man Behind Jaquet Droz

Christian Lattmann © Jaquet Droz

What first made you interested in the watchmaking business?
I was born in Bienne, near the headquarters of Omega. As a child on my way to school, I naturally wondered what went on behind those grand walls. 

A watch is, above all else, a gem — a distillation of technology and beauty containing all of Swiss savoir-faire. In each of the grandes maisons that I worked for, I have found exceptional stories and a unique culture. Mr Hayek Sr. always said that the three most important things in what we do are: the product, the product, and the product. I love watches; they are my passion.

What unique quality do you think you bring to your brand?
My youthful spirit.

Dix minutes avec Christian Lattmann : découvrez l'hommes derrière Jaquet Droz

Grande Seconde Skelet-One Ceramic and Grande Seconde Quantième Burgundy Enamel © Jaquet Droz

Tell us about an experience that defines your leadership style.
Every new creation is, above all else, a new experience. I love working with my team and I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people of real talent.

Being a leader is about knowing how to make choices, taking responsibility for one’s mistakes. I especially believe that I’ve acquired plenty of experience, notably from the great bosses I’ve worked for, which allows me to have a clear vision for our brand.

Which watch do you wear most often, and why?
I’m always wearing the Grande Seconde Skelet-One, as it is one of the most beautiful openworked timepieces currently available in the market, in my opinion, and it’s also a model that marks a stylistic departure for Jaquet Droz. Our brand is all about the modern approach to traditional watchmaking. I’ve chosen the version in ceramic, which is very elegant, hardy and very comfortable to wear.

Ten Minutes With Christian Lattmann: Discover The Man Behind Jaquet Droz

Grande Seconde Skelet-One ceramic © Jaquet Droz

What have you achieved as CEO that you are most proud of?
Every day the foundations of Jaquet Droz become more solid and recognised. But this is not the time to look at past accomplishments or to be complacent. We have to keep advancing — so let’s revisit this question in 15 years.

What is the biggest misconception that people have about Jaquet Droz?
There are a few. All those who know Jaquet Droz love it, even more so when they visit our ateliers and realise that we don’t take any shortcuts, that our words are aligned with our actions, and that we are on a continuous quest for beauty. That said, not enough people truly know the brand Jaquet Droz. 

Dix minutes avec Christian Lattmann : découvrez l'hommes derrière Jaquet Droz

Loving Butterfly Automaton (Chinchilla Red) and Grande Seconde Moon Anthracite © Jaquet Droz

On the other hand, what is one thing about Jaquet Droz that is not well known, but super important, in your view?
Our exceptional history. It’s for this very reason that we will publish next year a book on the occasion of the 300th birthday of Pierre Jaquet-Droz.

Give us a hint about your future plans for the brand.
As soon as the health situation permits, we will open a showroom dedicated to sales in our ateliers in la Chaux-de-Fonds. This will allow us to offer a true client experience. Our clients will get to know our artisans, designers and watchmakers and will discover how we create the watches they’ve chosen, and perhaps even to personalise them. They will also have the opportunity to stop by the Musée d’art et d’histoire in Neuchâtel to see the three famous automatons of Jaquet-Droz, exhibited in a presentation room that has been entirely restored thanks in particular to our patronage. 

Our collaboration with John Howe, the famous and talented illustrator of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, affords us an endless scope for new creations. Stay tuned!


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The brand

An elegant, outward-looking philosophy that dates back to the Age of Enlightenment is still at the heart of Jaquet Droz's identity. The fine and rare handcrafts practiced at the company’s workshops produce exquisite miniature works of art and automata that combine the best of design with unprecedented levels of horological know-how.

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