Independent watchmaker Romain Gauthier is one of the finest examples of an uncompromising watchmaking ethos. Gauthier’s best known timepiece, the Logical One, won the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève award in 2013. Exceptional levels of finishing and an obsession for detail sums up this Vallée de Joux based watchmaker. A few months ago, we caught up with Romain Gauthier, the man behind the brand.
How did your passion for fine watchmaking begin?
I was born in the Vallée de Joux, in the heart of the Swiss Jura. I think I was lucky enough to see beautiful watches from different manufactures. When I did technical schooling, my education was about precision mechanics. I worked at producing watch parts. I worked in a production company. I had an engineering background, and then I studied for an MBA. There was a time then that I thought of now getting over to the watchmaking side as well.
What drives your passion to create beautiful watches?
If something has been made even a hundred years back, it can still be adapted. we have to be creative in the times that we live. I believe in the evolution of tradition. I am very respectful of the past and of the watchmakers who opened the roads for us. However, our role is to continue to keep watchmaking creative.
How would you convince someone to buy from an independent brand like yours as compared to other luxury brands?
I have seen that there is a space for craftsmanship and small quantities, as well as great quality. I clearly saw that there is a space for collectors who want great finishing and exclusivity. I never compete on price points with brands. I just put in all the best that I can design without any compromise. The collectors are waiting for a level of watchmaking that was there in the past. I am interested in aesthetics, design and creativity. I see more and more collectors who appreciate aesthetics.
Let’s talk about the Logical One…
It is a watch that was really admired for its exceptional finishing and aesthetics. When I first created the watch, I put a lot of pressure to making it. It wasn’t only to create something complicated but to create something that has the sense of watchmaking. We always talk of precision and there is a constant talk of the fuse chain. I placed a lot of energy into the idea. When we received a price for that watch, it made me feel that we have to continue the spirit and philosophy of the brand.
One of the biggest challenges buyers have with Independent Watchmakers is the ‘After-sales service’. What are your thoughts?
It is perfectly understandable. A watchmaker will understand the intricacies of the watch. We are aware of this fact and while we create the watch, it is a part of our rule to make it in such a manner that even after a long period of time, a watchmaker would be able to repair it.