An interview with Baume & Mercier’s brilliant Design Director.
Do you remember your first watch?
Yes, very well. It was square plastic Casio with a calculator and a lot of small push buttons.
Are you sentimental about any personal watches?
Yes, about nearly all of them. Each has a special story and sentimental value. For example, one of my first luxury watches came from my uncle. He had decided to leave it to me because of my love for watches and but also the engraving on the caseback: 1967—the year he purchased the watch and also my birth year. Another important watch for me is a Classima chronograph gifted to me by my previous boss. I received it one year after the launch of this model and commemorated the strong success of the design.
What makes a beautiful watch?
First, the pleasure you have to wear it! Second, the perfect quality of its finishes and the importance and time spent on all of its details.
What is your favorite complication or watch feature?
I like the moon phase. It is very simple and a bit poetic. I also like the minute repeater. It is so complex inside and really amazing to hear.
How did you become part of the watch world?
After finishing art school, I took the chance to join the Cartier design team for accessories. After two years, I began working on designing watches for Yves Saint Laurent (at the time, Cartier had the license for their jewelry, accessories, and watches). After some success with these collections, I started to design watches for Cartier…. The rest is history.
How does the watch industry attract the next generation?
That is difficult to answer today, as many young people do not wear watches. Yet, there are constantly new watch brands and designs created for this young clientele. They are very creative, very cheap, and certainly a good way for the next generation to discover the watch universe. As for traditional watches, we need to communicate differently to the younger consumer and even change our mindset in terms of design. We are working on it!
What is your favorite time of day?
Early morning. When the day is just beginning, and everything seems possible, yet nothing has been done. When you are alone at the office, and you have time for you. It is time for reflection and time for creation. I need this part of the day.
What is your favorite Instagram account?
There are a lot…. A few of my favorites are @hirozzz (Hiroaki Fukuda), a great Japanese photographer. @sebmontazstudio (Sebastien Montaz), another cool photographer from our mountains. And @indianmotorcycle, with our new partnership.
What is your favorite place to visit?
Japan. Definitely! I love the kindness of Japanese people, the beauty of their arts, the vast tradition of craftsmanship, the spirit of nonstop learning, and the beauty of all the different landscapes.
Who is your favorite artist? Museum?
What a difficult question. There are a lot! If I had to choose, for example, to take a single book of artwork with me to an isolated island, Leonardo da Vinci would be the one. In a totally different field, Alexander McQueen is another genius. And for the museum, I love the Louvre in Paris and the British Museum in London.
If you could turn back time, where would you go?
Far, far, far away in the past. Perhaps before the presence of humans on the earth. Wild and pure!
What is your favorite design object?
The Chaise Longue of Le Corbusier and the Panton Chair of Verner Panton.
What do you collect?
When I was young, a lot of different things. Now, nothing. It is too time-consuming.
Which watch brand do you most admire?
Vacheron Constantin. And also François-Paul Journe.
Who is currently the most influential person in watches?
The younger generation: Millennials.
Is there a dream watch you would like to own someday?
Yes, a minute repeater, but perhaps this dream has to stay a dream.
How do you define style?
A mix of elegance and confidence without extravagance.