I first heard of this name Romain Gauthier from thePuristS.com some times back. So, when Natalia (Brand Manager, in-charge of all independent watchmaker) from the HourGlass called me asking me if I am interested to meet up with him, my answer was an immediate YES!
Romain arrived in Singapore on 26th November 2006 and immediately he made the arrangement to meet up with Prof. Harry Tan and myself. We took some photos of the 3 prototypes that he has brought with him and also chatted with him briefly on his creation and how he suddenly "pop-out" from literally no-where?
So who is this young chap who has decided to come out of "no-where" and create his own brand of wrist watches?
Romain Gauthier, according to himself, was working in a company producing watch parts to manufacturer in la Vallee de Joux region using CNC machines.
At age 25 (that is in 1999), he suddenly have an urge to divert into the Horological industry, either as a consultant to collectors or something like that. He gradually formed the idea of having his own watch brand. He also understood that in order for him to material his goal, he will need to know how to do business, thus he took up an MBA course and graduated in 2002.
During this period, he met an important person who has changed his life completely, Philippe Dufour. It was the master who has give him the idea that he can produce his own movement with his technical background and an engineer, and afterall, watch movements are just machines in a smaller scale!
He spent the next few years developing his movement, in secret, and again he received valuable advices from Philippe Dufour on the improvement of finishing on his movements.
As he is not a watchmaker by profession, he engaged a good friend and a talented young watchmaker Sebestien Berney to join him on the working of this first prototype.
(end of Part I)