Romain Gauthier – Fusing the New and the Old
Big companies are very much akin to big old ships, clumsy, cumbersome and slow. It is never truer than with the massive watch brands out there.
Just look at Rolex and what they have to go through when releasing a watch with a slightly different case, or with a line of red text on the dial. It takes years!
This is an affliction that the independent watch manufacturers do not suffer from, much to their credit and benefit. Creative juices flowing without the need to please the hierarchy as most of the independent watchmakers are their own creative and manufacturing facility. They please themselves and in most cases, they please us as watch fanatics.
Philippe Dufour is known to many of us and revered by even more. But, today it is not him that we will be concentrating on but his protege, Romain Gauthier.
Literally down the road from each other and the polar opposites in terms of the styling and movements, but what is intriguing is where their similarities are. This year Romain Gauthier, the name and the brand released a new timepiece, the Insight Micro-Rotor.
As you can see, skeletonizing the movement reveals a lot more than would normally be hidden to the admirer. In this case, Romain Gauthier has taken it even further, an in-house automatic calibre with a bi-directional micro-rotor that is visible on both dial side and via the case-back powers this handsome looking watch.
Ingenuity in design and manufacturing is what Romain Gauthier sets itself apart by, the similarity with what Philippe Dufour produces is the attention to the quality of finishing. Each of those bevels is gloriously hand polished by the most skilled of artisans, reminiscent of the work that comes from the great man’s own work bench.
Aesthetically the watch is a gorgeous blend of classical design embedded within a modern setting. Touched by both worlds and unconstrained by investors or shareholders. This is the result of real invention and conviction. The challenges faced by such a small company and brand are vast, they all pale in comparison though to the achievement of bringing to the horological community great timepieces like this.
Long may it continue.