As so often in life, the desire to leave a legacy is a great motivation to achieve the unthinkable. And often during the late night and weekend sessions in the ateliers, discussion would focus on what leaving a legacy in the watch industry would mean these days. Was not almost everything already invented and designed? Yes and no was the conclusion. Great inventions had been made, but arguably their functionality was not always as good and consumer friendly as the original intend. For instance, despite the Tourbillon movement was invented to increase accuracy, yet most of these beautiful pieces of mechanical engineering and design, will actually not deliver on its original intend. The principle and functionality of a Perpetual Calendar is already designed, but if for whatever reason you need to adjust the calendar, it will easily cost you a lot of time and frustration to adjust, if at all you will be able to do so without causing damage to the complication. The fact that everything is designed yet does not only hold true for technology, but also goes for branding. When was the last time you’ve seen a brand that is proud to live in the here and now, and not fall into the temptation of abusing heritage as a seal of craftsmanship? And herein lies the nugget of the shared dream – creating a new high-end watch brand, designed for the generation that lives now— using a hybrid between the best of modern technology and traditional craftsmanship. As the nouvelle cuisine was trying to set a new standard and fresh impulse in cooking trends, so should this brand try to give a fresh impulse to Haute Horlogerie: let’s call it the ‘Nouvelle Horlogerie’.
Location & founding
As the intent of the new brand was not to copy the category conventions of the past decades, there were no limitations in the initial search. It needed to be a place that could provide enough inspiration for the people working for the brand, while also carry sufficient aspiration for those that the brand was designing for: Monaco and its surroundings. This place is not only one of the more appealing places on earth at the moment, but it has a long standing heritage of attracting some of the biggest innovators in several fields of expertise: painters like Picasso, Chagall, Matisse (or more recently like the Dutch sculptor Verkade); architects like Le Corbusier; poets and writers like Chekhov and Cocteau; and philosophers like Nietzsche. And importantly, these people did not only reside in this area, but delivered some of their best work while in the region. Of course, the breathtaking scenery of the Mediterranean against the startling rock formation of the Alps, and the warm blanket of the climate makes the combination picture perfect! After the location was determined, over a year went by to incorporate the company in Monaco and find the appropriate location for the Ateliers in the Princedom. It is important to be a genuine Monegasque company that is woven in to the local fabric of life. And all of this culminates in the brand proudly stating its origin on the final time pieces: Made in Monaco!