Romain Gauthier, born in 1975 in Le Sentier, is not a trained watchmaker. However, he grew up surrounded by the trade, because his mother worked for a large watch brand, and Le Sentier is in Vallée de Joux, the heartland of fine Swiss watchmaking. He studied precision mechanics and obtained a diploma in the construction of precision machinery. In 1997, he started working as a CNC programmer at a watch components manufacturer.
He matured the idea of founding his own watch brand, and in 2001-2002 he studied for an MBA at the University of Geneva. His dissertation was the business plan for his own company. Meanwhile he was still working at the components factory, and when he told his boss about his plans, that enlightened manager offered him the chance of using the machines for his own components outside working hours. For three years, Romain worked on his new Calibre 2006. After launching his brand in 2005, he presented his first watch, Prestige HM, in 2006. It reflects his own ideas on watchmaking, with contributions from Philippe Dufour whom Romain consulted for some advice.
Prestige HM was distinctive for its in-house movement visible through the display back, an innovative winding mechanism with a pusher instead of a crown – so the watch could be wound while still on the wrist – off-centred hour and minute indications, and finger-bridges typical of Vallée de Joux. This watch was followed in 2010 by Prestige HMS which added the seconds hand, along with a partially openworked dial.
In 2013, Logical One was presented, an innovative watch with the pusher-winding system, a flat chain-and-fusée constant force system with ruby chain links, a balance visible dial-side, a mainspring barrel with sapphire inserts, and a power reserve indicator. It won the Best Men’s Complications Watch prize at Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2013.
Romain Gauthier’s manufacture is in Le Sentier, Switzerland. Almost all the components are made in-house. Total production is from 50 to 100 watches per year, of which from 20 to 30 are the Logical One.
Manufacture Romain Gauthier
Case Postale 188
Rue du Canal 20
CH 1347 Le Sentier, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 21 845 5454