RALF TECH I’m not an Influencer. So I Said Yes to RALF TECH
No influencers, no contracts, no “sponsored posts”, no free watches. Just two words link RALF TECH with cameraman Kevin Sempé: functional, and authentic
One is a professional diver, and the other is too. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to strike up a friendship. And particularly when they share the same approach to their gear: it has to be robust, and it has to be reliable.
An unexpected meeting
The first time Frank Huyghe and Kevin Sempé met, no one could have predicted the outcome. The former, RALF TECH’s CEO, wasn’t particularly looking for an ambassador. That’s not part of his brand’s marketing strategy. He prefers to rely on building a network of collectors, and on friendship, rather than on media exposure, which is very expensive for a 100% independent watch brand.
The latter, Kevin Sempé, was not looking for a watch sponsor. He’s his own boss – a cameraman specialising in underwater shoots. He’s been extremely busy in recent years, filming in Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Polynesia, Madagascar, Hawaii and Myanmar, where he’s worked on films for Canal+ and Arte. “I didn’t know much about watches. My area of expertise is how to get good shots in … unfriendly conditions!” he smiles.
Kevin Sempé © RALF TECH
400 dives with RALF TECH
It was Kevin’s need for a tool he could rely on, in any conditions and at any depth, that led him eventually to RALF TECH. The relationship is based on friendship between two divers – no contracts involved. “One day, Frank contacted me via social media, and asked if we could meet up in Paris. He lent me a WRX. That was three years ago. Since then, it’s never been off my wrist. It’s become a kind of lucky charm for me. I do more than 100 dives each year. That means it’s accompanied me on 400 dives, all over the world. It has never let me down, and that’s exactly what I needed.”
But Kevin Sempé can sometimes be found on dry land. “Yes, it does happen!” he confirms. “When I dive, I use it’s with my WRX 100% of the time. But Ralf Tech also lent me an Académie. When I’m giving a keynote, it’s a bit more discreet than the 47 mm WRX!”
WRX Electric © RALF TECH
A third watch in the pipeline
Recently, RALF TECH and Kevin Sempé have been thinking about bridging the middle ground between the early WRX and the dressier Académie. And that’s where the partnership becomes interesting. “Frank offered me his latest model, The Beast, but it didn’t really suit my personality. We talked about it, and we ended up with the WRV Electric Black Pirates Shadow. This model suits me far better – both my personality and how I work. It’s also a good compromise between my ultra-functional WRX and my Académie for public-facing work.”
This is neither a commercial nor a promotional relationship; it’s a dialogue between enthusiasts, explorers and professionals, who need their equipment to be functional and reliable. Kevin Sempé doesn’t overtly promote his Ralf Tech watches, but he wears them every day, and relies on them in his work. That’s what a tool watch is for, after all. But Kevin Sempé has something else to say: “I’m not an influencer; that’s not my job.” The message is clear: you can have promotion, or you can have exploration. RALF TECH and Kevin Sempé know which one they want.
Kevin Sempé © RALF TECH
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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