Finest handmade watches from the Vallée de Joux: Romain Gauthier (Video)

By Montredo in Videos
May 14, 2019
Finest handmade watches from the Vallée de Joux: Romain Gauthier (Video)

In the current episode of “Meet the Manufacturer”, we travel to the Vallée de Joux, the cradle of watchmaking in the picturesque Swiss Jura. Over the centuries, this region in particular has brought forth some of the most gifted watchmakers in the world and is still home to a considerable number of renowned watchmaking houses.

One of these watchmakers is undoubtedly Romain Gauthier. Not only was he born and raised in this legendary valley, but he also continues to realize his artistic passion there to this day. We sat down with Mr. Gauthier in his studio and gained exciting insights into the company’s philosophy and its unique production techniques.

But first, we would like to present below some of our favourite watches that we cover in this episode of “Meet the Manufacturer”:

0:48 – Romain Gauthier Prestige HM

Reference: MON00002
Movement: Manual winding
Calibre: HM 2206
Power Reserve: 60h
Case Diameter: 41mm
Case Material: 950 Platinum
Limited Edition: 38 pieces

1:15 – Romain Gauthier Logical One

The white enamel dial is fired in the oven.

Reference: MON00164
Movement: Manual winding
Calibre: Logical One
Power Reserve: 46h
Case Material: 43mm
Case Material: 18k white gold

1:33 – Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor

Here you can see the black titanium version of the watch (MON00381).

Reference: MON00375
Movement: Automatic
Calibre: Insight Micro-Rotor
Power Reserve: 80h
Case Diameter: 39,5mm
Case Material: Titanium
Limited Edition: 10 pieces

6:00 – Romain Gauthier Prestige HMS Black Titanium

Reference: MON00080
Movement: Manual winding
Calibre: HM 2206
Power Reserve: 60h
Case Diameter: 43mm
Case Material: Titanium

6:07 – Romain Gauthier Prestige HMS Red Gold Edition

Reference: MON00009
Movement: Manual winding
Calibre: HMS 2206
Power Reserve: 60h
Case Diameter: 41mm
Case Material: Red gold

Romain Gauthier: A success story

Gauthier developed a keen interest in mechanics at an early age, so that he found his first job after completing his studies in 1998 in the precision mechanics department of a watch component manufacturer. It didn’t take long, however, until the idea of his own watch brand wouldn’t let go of him anymore.

Only shortly afterwards, Gauthier’s vision took concrete shape: In 2002, as part of his MBA thesis, Gauthier meticulously devised a business plan for his own company. Completely drawn in by this idea, Gauthier henceforward sacrificed all his free time to put his idea into action. His boss at the time let him use the company’s machines after hours, allowing Romain to develop the components for his first movement between 2002 and 2005.

2005 marked the beginning

It was only a matter of time, but three years later in 2005, Romain Gauthier officially started manufacturing luxury watches under his own name in Le Sentier, Switzerland. In the same year, his first in-house calibre “HM 2206”, a hand-decorated and hand-wound movement, was launched, setting the course for the young company’s further development. However, this is most certainly not your ordinary hand-wound calibre, as it features an innovative caseback crown for a more efficient winding. From that point on, Gauthier presented innovative new releases almost every year.

The journey started at 2007’s Baselworld with the Prestige HM, a watch perfectly capturing the essence of haute horlogerie. In 2010, the Prestige HMS followed, a derivative with a seconds hand. The now iconic Logical One as well as the Logical One Secret followed only shortly afterwards as well as the brand’s first automatic watch “Insight Micro-Rotor” in 2017. Since its inception, Romain Gauthier has always managed to come up with exciting new watch models. True to the company’s motto “The evolution of tradition”, the traditional watchmaking craft is thus successively driven forward by ultra-modern and self-developed production techniques.

Highest level of vertical integration

Romain Gauthier moreover boasts an enormous production depth and vertical integration, as most of the components are manufactured inhouse. Of course, all this exclusivity has its price: Only around 60 watches can be produced each year. This has mainly to do with the outstanding finishing, which is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. Using the example of the Logical One, it requires well over 90 hours of an extremely skilled watchmaker’s manual labour until the finish reaches a level of perfection that is second to none and that can only be achieved by a handful of craftsmen.

Speaking of which, the Logical One is a truly unique watch and arguably the brand’s most famous creation, taking on the challenge of “constant force” that has always been a holy grail throughout the history of watchmaking. With its modern take on the fusée-and-chain transmission mechanism, the watch features a friction-minimising ruby-link chain and snail cam, allowing for almost two days of constant force. It therefore did not come as a surprise that the multi-patented and revolutionary Logical One was awarded the prize for “Best Men’s Complication” at the 2013 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève – the Oscars of watchmaking.

Meet the Manufacturer

Over the years, Romain Gauthier – which has remained independent to this day – has become a staple in the Swiss luxury watch industry. The carefully thought-out watches feature innovative designs, the most precise inhouse calibres and a truly unparalleled hand finish.

But now enough of words and time for some Haute Horlogerie at its best!

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