Thursday, 15 October 2009

an interesting chapter... some time with maitres du temp & jean dunand

time is a precious commodity... as it was slipping away like fine sand in an imaginary hour glass next to me i was thinking about the man i was about to meet. he was tied up in interviews and it gave me brief respite from a busy day which was actually a good thing...

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i thought back to what i had read about him... a successful watch distributor in america... selling American watches which was his family's business and then progressing to sales and distribution of Swiss watches in the US... and more importantly, what has brought us together today, his work at bringing together independent watchmakers, for special and unique creations under 'maitres du temps' and i was looking forward to our chat. but time is running out... if we could but pause it or accelerate it if we so chose to, then we would be masters of time indeed...

i stand up to leave as i figure the opportunity may be lost, their schedules are too packed today and who am i amidst the media circus that has descended upon these fine travellers from afar? i think to leave and extend my apologies but as fate would have it, a man stands before me, asking me if i have some time for a chat and i figure that i do. it wasn't to be a wasted trip after all...

i sit with steven holtzman for 40 or so minutes and they pass quickly... we chat about his journeys, growing up in the watch trade, his motivations with maitres du temps.. it is always refreshing and nice to meet successful folks who are humble and this was no different. we chat about the different way he has taken maitres du temps as compared to different paths by max busser with mb&f or harry winston with opus and the failed goldpfeil independents project where the execution was a mess. he tells me about his background in sales and his passion for fine timepieces. he tells me of being the guy who connected Daniel Roth and Romain Gauthier, both based in Le Sentier and its a delightful story of how a man could travel from US to this little town in Switzerland and connect the two of them... the watchmaker and the micro engineer who were so close yet so far... he shares of an event in mexico that ended recently and his varied views of others that were there and the overwhelming impact of it all on daniel roth, the man...

unfortunately language was a barrier for me and mr roth... i would have liked to have been able to communicate with him about his views of timepieces and horology... about views on independent watchmakers... artisan or artist or both... maybe its time for some french lessons...Photobucket

his main contribution to this project is in the exquisite movement finishing
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[ click to read the rest of the post... expand or collapse ]

steven was also open to share about chapter 3 which will have the involvement of kari voutilainen and romain gauthier(see 2 posts down for pics of some of their fine offerings)... it should be a fascinating piece and i can't wait to see that...

other than being a really nice guy and a visionary, he is, as he says, a connector and it is through the path he is charting and the connections that he has established and continues to make, that i believe we can expect to see more wondrous horological creations from the minds of great living watchmakers... ideas that are conceived and realised to become something marvellous in our reality. my wishes of success for his and his collaborators' journeys and heres to more great chapters ahead :)

another connection made... Mr Steven Holtzman, raphmeister and M. Daniel Roth...
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a look at the chapter 1 first... a beautiful if somewhat large timepiece. i would have preferred it if the date roller was in the same blue as the moonphase roller with white for the lettering...
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the one i would buy amongst these watches... if i had half a million in spare change lying around that is ;)
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chapter 2... a more affordable list of us60k if i recall correctly...
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next we have the wondrous creations from jean dunand... the tourbillon orbital...
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such an amazing and beautiful art piece... rather inaccessible though...
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confucius on his head if worn the right way up... hmmm not so sure about this one :)
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shabaka! a fantastic name for an amazing artpiece... somehow couldn't get a decent shot where i was and unfortunately didn't have enough time on my hands to take more pics... all the photos here banged out in about 15minutes...
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raphmeister with M. Thierry Oulevay... a fine gentlemen who is a co-founder of Jean Dunand. he was most helpful in talking about these art works for the wrist and even helping on positioning the watches for the pictures..
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a glimpse for sure... but definitely time will spent... i would like to extend my thanks to Steven again for taking the time... & all the fine gents at maitres du temps, jean dunand travelling with him for this short but most excellent encounter... cheers, raph

now how much did u say this was again? raph... raph... u know what they say... if u have to ask... ;)
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4 comments:

Gabriel said...

Amazing, pal! If only DR spoke english, I'm sure there will be more insights to Maitres Du Temp. Chapter 3 sounds very exciting to me with RG and KV involved. Wow, just smashin'. Would love to be there, but now I don't. I just have to read your blog ;-) Keep 'em coming Ralph, it's a job well done.

Raphael Too said...

Thanks Gabriel :)

Glad u enjoyed the post and thanks for the kudos.

Elvin Liang said...

I've actually spoke to Daniel about his inspiration and how he was introduced to watch-making. For someone whose name is known world-wide, he was really a person full of humility and passion. His main concern about the watches was simply precision. All the gems of knowledge he shared were simply priceless for 2 whole hours of conversation with the simple man behind something as complicated as Chapter 2. Kudos to Daniel!


-Elvin Liang

Raphael Too said...

Hey Elvin, thanks for your comment and wonderful insight. I hope to have more time with Maitres du Temps in future and provide more coverage on their future chapters.

cheers
raph

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