Time to Watches was an opportunity for us to meet a new generation of independent watchmakers.
Thanks to Marc-Christian Perronnet’s initiative, the Time to the Future’s stand was born. A space regrouping nine independent brands. Nine brands touching different aspects of watchmaking. From enamel to accessories, including watches, we went to meet them to understand why they became independent.
The product is only the tip of the iceberg, the rest is a gigantic human adventure. Why did they go on this adventure?
The exchange of glances is joyful, hugs and handshakes seal the beginning of the fair. Simply installed, they have taken the essentials. Some have only a prototype to present while others arrange as they can what they have brought.
Far from the pomp of Watches and Wonders, a small round table and a few chairs facilitate contact. When Bastien from Lundis Bleus exhibits his pieces, we are compelled to go and talk to him as we are so drawn in by the beauty of his products. His dials captivate our eyes.
But the same goes for Kauri, Skill, Khemea, for Rogé Bastide etc… They are proud and happy to show the product of their hands. Without them, they would not have been born. Without this perseverance in the trials and without this daily learning, nothing would have been possible. And yet, despite all this work and sacrifices, they remain humble. That is something to be admired. They are not here to sell themselves, but to present their creations to whoever wants them.
You approach, your glance settles, then you get closer. Your eyes go from detail to detail. Then you do not resist any more, your glance rises finally to catch the author’s one of these wonders. Like a well-behaved child, you ask permission: “May I handle it?”
As if surprised by the fact that someone is interested in his work, his authorization is accompanied by explanations. Your gaze delicately catches all the details. But if you stop and look at the author out of the corner of your eye, you can see that mixture of pride and passion in his eyes.
A passion that drives him daily. Without it, the days would be endless and too tedious to bear. Technique can be learned and mistakes can be corrected, but passion falls on you without warning.
The product, we can take it in hand later. The opportunity is too good to pass up. Let’s try to understand their motivations so that our perception of the product is full and complete. These creators don’t see a watch, they see hours of work, challenges taken up, mistakes corrected. And all this, they wanted it. They were not forced by any superior.
Becoming independent means accepting uncertainty in order to embrace a certain discomfort, but from which results an immense pleasure when the fruits of one’s labor are born. Bastien sums it up wonderfully: “I learned that by dividing my salary by two or three, I could be much happier.”
When we asked them why they became independent, this is what they told us:
“I never found my dream job, because I love everything about watchmaking.” – Skill
“I really wanted to evolve in my skills and offer watches that are different from what we are used to seeing.” – Kauri
“I wanted to bring together different knowledge and making my little contribution to watchmaking creation.” – Lundis Bleus
“What drove me to be independent was a lot of ideas in my head. I wanted to do conception and design and machining and assembly and prototyping and decorating.” – Khemea
“I always wanted to create something, to convey something.” – Rogé Bastide
Do you see the common point? Some already knew each other while others discovered each other during the show, and yet they all have one thing in common. At some point in their lives, they decided they wanted more. “We spend a lot of time at work, so we might as well do something we enjoy“, said one of the founders of Rogé Bastide.
So yes, it’s not easy every day, but this difficulty is part of the work they have chosen. Because yes, they don’t just make watches or accessories, they realize a project and this project, just like this way of thinking and doing, will have an impact on tomorrow’s watchmaking. If you want to find out what they are up to, I’ll let you see what they want to achieve.
Now you can understand that look of pride and happiness a little better. As you handle and take interest in their product, they are happy to see that all their hard work and hardship was not in vain. It is this emotion that they share with you.
“What I’m most proud of is when people tell me that the pieces are more beautiful in real life than they imagined” says Bastien.
“What I am most proud of is to have sold a watch in which I put a good part of myself and to see the sparkle in the eyes of the buyer” says Samuel.
“What I’m most proud of is that I’ve been making a living from my passion for two years,” says Shona.
“What we are most proud of is earning our own money and being actors in our lives,” says Stéphan and Romain.
“What I am most proud of is having sponsored a DN Made section at the watchmaking school that trained me,” says Olivier.
“What I am most proud of is that I had the will to work in something I am passionate about,” says Raphy.
So long live watchmaking and congratulations to these players in an industry that is so close to our hearts.