Perpétuel Gallery continues to lead in supporting independent boutique timekeepers – recently, bringing the likes of Fears, Havid Nagan, Lang 1943 and Seconde/Seconde/ to the fore, each with a different appeal for enthusiasts.
In the Watch Pioneers series, we sat down with independent watchmaking brand founders on a recent visit to Dubai. Here, we put the spotlight on Romaric André, the creative mastermind behind Seconde/Seconde/, to discuss all the things that make him tick.
When did your passion for watchmaking begin?
When I started sneaking in Swatch stores while my older brother kept showing me Breguet advertisements in glossy cars magazines. So let’s say at 10 years old?
How did you make this transition from having an entirely different career to building an independent watch brand?
I followed an early and deep feeling that I had which was to “start something” by myself. I failed at it and had to reckon I was probably not made for business. By slapping my face, life pushed me to focus and leverage my main thing, which is creativity.
How do you balance the creative and commercial sides of the business, and do you feel more drawn to one than the other?
Creativity is basically the kid in you. Which means no constraints, no responsibilities, no priorities, no rules. That’s where I feel good and in my zone. But then, if you’re not connected with the real world, creativity starts to feel useless and almost like a waste of time and energy. I’ve always had this feeling that going outside of my comfort zone was the price to pay to ensure I could regularly go back to my comfort and satisfying zone. Brainstorming alone and finding an idea still gives me an adrenaline rush. That’s still crazy to me how excited I get each time I “find” something.
How does the watch space differ in the Middle East compared to other regions?
I don’t really know and I don’t really want to know. I’m quite selfish and I’m searching and looking for what excites me first! Hence, I’m not good at analyzing the differences between territories.
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Which is the most pioneering piece you’ve created to date?
I haven’t yet. By playing on watches already made, by twisting them, I am kind of deconstructing them. I’m working on an “already created” material by essence. I’ll consider myself as “pioneering” the day I’ll make a watch myself from scratch!
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